Women Who Inspire: Shiva Rose
Actress turned holistic lifestyle blogger Shiva Rose, 45, is the creator of her eponymous natural skin care line and a self-proclaimed bohemian. Living with her two daughters in a ranch-style house inside a dreamy enclave in the Santa Monica Mountains, Rose manages to keep it chic among her honey bees, chickens, and organic garden.
She became more health conscious after the birth of her first daughter, when Rose was diagnosed with an autoimmune system breakdown. Since then, she has focused on achieving a healthy lifestyle.
First with her blog, The Local Rose, and now with her Shiva Rose skin care line, the quest for excellence and purity in all Rose tries her hand at is apparent. Shiva Rose Skincare is 100 percent natural, with no toxic chemical additives. Most of the products she makes at home.
“I am incorporating a lot of Ayurvedic ingredients these days into my skin care line,” Rose shares. “I love the principles and wisdom behind Ayurveda. It is about beauty from the inside out. Eating a lot of ghee, oils, and raw butter really helps to keep the skin glowing.”
“The pressure of living in a major metropolitan city and keeping a youthful appearance — no matter what — is real.
“WHEN THE ADVENTURE OF YOUR LIFE CAN BE SEEN IN YOUR FACE, IT SHOWS YOU HAVE LED A GOOD LIFE.”
“We live in a time where aging is looked down upon. But I think that a woman’s beauty is enhanced with smile lines. When the adventure of your life can be seen in your face,” Rose says, “it shows you have led a good life. Of course, we all want to look good, but for me it’s about seeking out more holistically oriented beauty solutions that are not going to harm you in the long run.”
With her busy life as a mother and business owner, Rose incorporates daily routines to help her stay stress free and looking great.
“In the morning, before the household wakes up, I do a meditational tea ceremony. It is an ancient practice, a way to tune in and keep me in the moment. It’s a special way to start each day.”
Rose tries to squeeze in a daily hike with her dog in the local mountains or to take a kundalini yoga class for exercise, and her day always ends with an herbal bath. She recommends dry brushing the body the Ayurvedic way, which stimulates the lymphatic system and removes dead skin. She finishes with her own Shiva Rose body oil.
“Some nights I use one of my new face treatments, Saffron Rose Facial Scrub, or Honey Blossom Face Mask, to treat myself.”
Healthy living is nothing without balance, and Shiva admits to indulging her sweet tooth; pie and ice cream, and raw chocolate are her favorites. “You have to have a glass of wine or a cappuccino once in a while to keep from being too serious,” she says with a laugh.
“I feel empowered as I grow older. I care about what my higher self thinks, rather than what other people think, and that is a good thing. I also feel more energetic and healthier than ever before. I have overcome illness, and learned how to live in a way that is more balanced. Like fine wine,” Rose says, smiling, “we just get better with age.”
Women Who Inspire: Kendall Conrad
“Simplicity plus practicality equals sophistication.” This belief embodies designer Kendall Conrad’s personal style, as well as the aesthetic of her West Coast stores and eponymous line of accessories.
Now in her forties, the Californian beauty is the epitome of chic, with a dash of Spanish charm. (Conrad spent time in Spain as a child with her artist parents as her father was also a bull fighter.)
Conrad creates high-end yet understated accessories (read: no giant logos). She believes that beauty is found in the simple things. “I’m not a clotheshorse. I want to put on a smock and then accessorize it. I think that clothes should be a bank canvas; it’s how you dress up the canvas that creates style,” she says. She carries this ideal through to her home as well, preferring neutral furniture, then adding color and character with flowers, books, candles, and art.
Conrad, who grew up in Santa Barbara, traveled the world as a fashion model before returning home with her husband, photographer David Cameron. It was in 2000, while pregnant with their second daughter, that Conrad created her handbag line, Tauro. “I started with handbags; that was the first vehicle for my creative outlet. These bags were my aesthetic, but a little more hippie, a little less refined,” she says.
As the company grew, Conrad took a stand against manufacturing in China, choosing California instead, and went on to create the label Kendall Conrad in 2008. “My bags come from a starting point of functionality and then a ‘look,’” she says.
“I’m super reductive, so I’m always taking things off the bags.” Two years later she opened a store in Venice, then another in Brentwood, and a third in Montecito. Conrad has plans to open her fourth store next year in a location yet to be revealed.
Conrad uses only sustainable, food-grade leather (a byproduct of the food industry) in her handbags. She prides herself on not wasting anything, using every piece of leather — even a 2-by-2-inch scrap will be turned into a key chain!
“I couldn’t just sell handbags in my store,” Conrad says, “so I started making small case goods as well, belts and cuffs to accessorize more fully. Then, of course, each leather cuff needed a matching sandal.”
A jewelry line was a natural evolution. “We started out with brass and we added gold, silver, and everything in between.” Designs are inspired by, among other things, walks on the beach, where she collects seaweed, shells, and rocks.
Conrad relies on yoga to keep her mind focused and her body fit. “I am currently obsessed with yoga,” she says. “It makes me feel great and wakes up my brain. Afterward, I am revitalized and ready to get back to work.” She also uses her own, toxin-free bee’s wax candles to set the right mood while working at her desk.
“These days,” she says, “I am healthier than I have ever been and feel better than ever. If something gets broken, I fix it. I had shoulder surgery and now it’s back 100 percent. I had Lasik eye surgery, and now I have 24/24 vision.”
“When I became a mother, I felt more adult. I’ve gotten smarter with age. I want to set an example for my children.” Though responsibility has made Conrad more serious, she still loves to have a good time. “It’s hard not to be serious, running a business, but catch me on the weekend,” she says.
Women Who Inspire: Rachel Craven
“Right now, I am obsessed with the color yellow,” says Rachel Craven. “Crazy, bright, bold yellow — like the color of pollen and Indian turmeric. I just can’t get enough of it.”
The 40-something beauty, textile designer, and Echo Park Craft Fair co-creator lives with her family in the hills of Echo Park, a historic, hidden-gem neighborhood on the east side of Los Angeles. She created her eponymous line of linen tops, pants, and dresses for women of all ages. “I make these dresses because that is what I want to do, and what I want to wear!”
Craven says she is “obsessed with the idea that you could wake up and put something on and stay in it the entire day and switch out the shoes for a meeting, walk around the neighborhood, and go have a drink with friends, all in the same pair of pants. And somehow, if you don’t spill all over yourself, you still can look chic.”
Designing for a diverse group of women is something that Craven attributes to growing older herself.
Craven says she often has her mother, who is 75, in mind when she’s making clothes, and she credits her artist parents and grandparents as inspiration for many of her textile designs.
“I’m attracted to and inspired by fine artists who also make functional art,” she says. She sites Donald Judd, Georgia O’Keefe, and George Nakashima, father of the American Crafts Movement, as prime examples. “My mother is a potter who abandoned fine art to make functional pieces. The importance of functionality was hammered into my brain.”
THAT’S WHAT IS EMPOWERING ABOUT GETTING
OLDER — A CLARITY ABOUT WHAT I AM DOING.
Together with a neighbor, Rachel launched the Echo Park Craft Fair six years ago. Born out of her desire for a creative outlet and need to create a sense of community, the fair allows her to be hands on while still remaining available to her young children. “It felt like an opportunity to create our own economy,” Craven says. “The first few years, we sold out of the backyard. Then there was an explosion of the makers’ movement.”
Riding that creative wave helped the event grow into a thriving business that now has two shows per year, hosting 150 vendors and more than 7,000 visitors.
“Of course,” Craven says, “I wanted something to sell at the fair. That’s where the textiles came in; I was motivated and inspired by what others were making. I began painting on textiles, making napkins and tablecloths. Next I made scarves, which led me back to my love of fashion.”
Growing older sits well with the artist. “I feel more thoughtful and aware, and have a lot less competitive feelings than I used to. Now there are so many craft fairs popping up, and I am excited about that. I feel the same way about comfortable, wearable clothing; it is for the benefit of us all.
“Would I have made these design choices 20 years ago? No. And that’s what is empowering about getting older — a clarity about what I am doing. I don’t question myself that much. I just do what I want to do.”