The journalist and founder of La DoubleJ is a lover of beautiful things, including finding peace in life’s hardest and most chaotic moments.
WHAT ARE 3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Milanese housewife, editor of beautiful things, vintage lover & truth seeker/teller. Sorry, that’s four!
WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
There is meaning in everything that is happening to you right now—especially the crappy parts. It’s your job to figure out how this pain in the ass situation can help you grow and transform.
WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
Three books from Caroline Myss: Anatomy of the Spirit, The Creation of Health, Entering the Castle. Thatch Nich Hanh’s True Love. Chogyam Rinpoche’s The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Training the Mind, and Smile at Fear. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves. Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. There’s actually more than this on my nightstand but I don’t want to scare you.
WHAT GIVES YOU GOOSE BUMPS?
Coming into contact with spirits of any kind—and there are many kinds!
WHAT IS YOUR BAD DAY BACKUP PLAN?
When things go crooked, you need to cuddle yourself. I like a Thai massage, a yoga class and sitting under the thick wisteria outside on our terrace which feels like a green carpet ceiling. It’s incredibly restorative to be near nature of any kind when you feel down and out.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?
A husband who supports me emotionally, creatively and professionally. My naturopath who taught me the beauty and use of the dark emotions. All of my guides, teachers, and healers. My company and employees that sprung up in an unexpected moment of abundance and fertility.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
A peaceful body, an open mind, and a soft heart. If you can maintain all of that while you’re doing whatever it is you think you should be doing right now, then you have success.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE – YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE?
Living through not having children. But like all of the things that break us down, I found a million other shining lights and big doors to walk through which I would never have discovered if things had come easily if I had not dug deeper, insisted on more, and found my true self.
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Find calm in the chaos. We’re all waiting until our weekend or our vacation to finally relax, but the real goal is to relax right now. Right in the middle of your bad meeting, in the middle of a hot traffic jam, in the middle of a fight with someone. Breathe, soften, and see what happens. It’s pretty magical, actually.
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER GIVEN?
When things don’t work out the way you want, stop banging your head on the same closed door, hoping/insisting/pushing/willing it to open. Find other doors, and you’ll be surprised how naturally and easily they fling open. Another way of saying this is: Go where your water flows.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW THAT YOU ARE EXCITED ABOUT?
La DoubleJ! I’m in the middle of developing everything more, so there will be a bigger collection of clothes made from vintage patterns that we launch in September in Milan as well as a pop-up shop with my design friends from Dimore Studio. We’re going to develop our Housewives collection—plates and table linens—more, and we’ve got a whole whirlwind tour of other city and resort visits for the rest of the year.
HOW DO YOU PRESS PAUSE?
Morning meditation and yin yoga under the wisteria. I’ve built it into the system. I used to go nuts about very active exercise, doing it almost every day of my life, and now I realize the real test is staying still.
WHAT DID YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF LOVE DOING?
Playing dress-up in my mom’s closet, putting makeup on everyone, dressing up the dog, building forts, choosing my father’s suits for work, bossing the neighborhood kids around, and organizing dance routines in my friend’s garage to the soundtrack of Fame. I never sat still. Ever.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE MAGIC POWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To be in direct contact with all of the consciousness that is floating around the universe. It’s actually not a magic power. We all have it. It just takes awhile to unveil.
WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT?
When I throw parties at home. Which is really often.
WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU GRAB IN A FIRE?
My computer because it has all of my diaries and dreams on it, my yoga mat because I’d feel at home on my mat even if the house had burned down, and all of those books on my nightstand which keep me calm in the chaos.
“Dude”. I’m from LA and it reminds me of my older brothers.
FAVORITE WORK OF ART?
The Baroque churches in Sicily. I never go during mass, only when I can be alone and stare at the painted and frescoed ceilings. The interiors are mesmerizing and I find pieces of myself every time I enter them. This to me is a true connection with art. Sometimes I even bring in my computer and begin to write–it’s very powerful.
Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You. I feel like it’s a manual for my life.
Under the circle of 100 ft. skinny palm trees in a grassy rose garden that overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California. This is right in front of my mother’s home very close to where I grew up. I return here for several weeks every August and this spot in particular has become magical to me.
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I wish you all the best,