Kristen is someone who I have personally known for what feels like forever. We're old college friends and have seen each other go through about 100 different "phases", boyfriends, and hair colors (full blonde highlights anyone?). As adults, we've managed to stay connected on a completely new wavelength - art and design.
I was so jealous of Kristen when I found out she was moving to France to go live with her then-boyfriend, now-husband. I was jealous that she was going to become fluent in french, and eat lots of croissants, and hang out with sophisticated french people, and shop in the best vintage stores in Paris. Little did I know that her relocating halfway around the world would lead her to her new career and passion, design and entrepreneurship. I've watched the last 4 years as she's grown as a designer and marveled at the consistently great work she's shared with our universe.
Kristen has been extremely generous to us at Two Eggs, providing guidance and design help when we needed it most. She's asked for literally nothing in return, so I figured the best thing that I can do for her now is to sing her praises on the blog and hope that there are some people out there in the interwebs who love her work as much as we do and want to hire her or buy her prints or follow her on Instagram.
Keep reading to learn more about our girl Kristen.
Where do you find your inspiration?
N˚1, travel. N˚2, music. N˚3, stories (good+bad) about people all over the world. N˚4, people who are ridiculously talented at something that I am not. N˚5, collaborating with other artists.
Most of my inspiration from something I see, or someone I meet when I am traveling. I constantly need a change of scenery. I really like being out of my comfort zone, it’s when I learn and absorb the most.
What’s your special sauce? That little trick you do before walking out the door to perk you up and make you feel your most you?
Lipstick. When I need to get shit done or if I have something important to do or I just want to feel good, lipstick is my tool. It makes me feel powerful.
Who are your mentors? Who do you look up to?
I feel like I have a new person every week but I haveee to say that at the moment, it’s my sweet and intelligent husband. He has played a huge role in my business. He was born into an entrepreneurial family and has experience for days. I am constantly learning from his experiences, successes and failures. He always guides me down the path I need to be on while supporting me (and critiquing!) along the way.
What makes you happy no matter what? Like if you’re having one of those no good rotten days where everything is terrible, what’s the thing that pulls you off the ledge?
Watching Friends in bed with a glass of nice wine and my monsieur.
Where do you shop for closet staples?
Zara, ASOS, Forever 21, H&M, Brandy Melville
Where do you go to find your special thing?
Brocantes. All of my favorite pieces are second-hand.
What’s your formula for a killer outfit?
Black + Black + Plunging V + Black + Lipstick – Something you put on that you shouldn’t have = Quick, confident minimalism
Tell us a story. What is your earliest memory of making a conscious decision about your style?
Oh god. Hmmm, I feel like when I went to Spain to study for a semester. I really decided to put my Athens-college-girl-look aside and just wear what I wanted to. My go-to outfit was jeans, tee or solid top, black leather jacket, natural wavy hair, black boots, tons of bracelets, no purse. After that semester, I was really comfortable in my own skin. I felt like I really found my style.
Social media.Who do you love/stalk?
Facebook – Nylon, Who What Wear, Messy Nessy Chic, Refinery 29
Instagram (deep breath) – @weworewhat @quentin_jones @emrata @moeblake @_brittbass @shopplanetblue @ lilyaldridge @dazedbutamazed @sticks_and_stones_agency @blackliststudio @showmeyourmumu @mimithor @designlovefest @bartolistyle @karliekloss anddd @justinbieber …not sorry.
Social media hacks. Hit us. What’s your go-to trick?
Black + white.
What is something you’d say you are always fighting against? What’s the thing you have to pep-talk yourself about?
Ugliness. Massimo Vignelli got it right, “The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.” I constantly feel like I am fighting against my own work and others’ work.
There are so many popular graphic designers, letterers, artists, etc who are creating things the same way and conforming to this particular style. People love what they do, but I refuse to fall into this conventional mold. Sometimes I see myself slipping into believing that I need to conform to be successful but then I remind myself that I know I have a different style or vision and good taste. And I know there are people who have the same taste but I just have to work super hard to find the right way reach them.
What’s something you struggle with in your career?
Estimates + billing. It’s really difficult for me to estimate the scope of a project. I think something can be done in about half the time it actually takes (and so does the client). I haven’t been paid for a lot of work because it. I have slowly learned that I need to double the time I think it will take and it works out great.
Tell us about a time when you hit a breaking point, a fork in the road? Have you ever wanted to quit and run away to Bali?
I did some contract work for a marketing agency and some of their clients made me want to throw my computer through a window.
What is the skill you picked up as a kid/teen that you still rely on today (i.e. teaching yourself html/powerpoint/etc., getting what you want from mom and dad, making a great sandwich)?
Lettering. I never thought it could be a career but I was a bubble-letter master back in the day. I can thank my sister for this skill. I remember sitting on my bed with her, dry-erase boards in our laps, practicing drawing letters over and over again. I always thought she had the most amazing handwriting and I wanted to be just like her.
What are you most proud of thus far in your life? Can be career or non-career related.
Moving to France. This was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I thought it would be easy since I love adventure and change but I had absolutely no idea what it would take. I am so proud of the life and character I have built here.
What is the one thing you throw on when you head out the door that gives you that warm glow from deep in the tummy that says, “I know I look good”?
All of my belongings that make me realize that I am now a little bit French – my lipstick, my oxfords, my long black coat, my scarf, my perfume. My n˚1? Lipstick.