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Archive for the ‘Dayna’s travels’ Category

March across the pond (Part I)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

This spring things have been so busy at Ped that it’s taken me until now to tell you about my fantastic March trip to the shoe shows in Paris and Milan. It’s always so fun to catch up with Ped’s favorite designers and see what they have on tap for the coming season!

I’ve decided to split my report into two parts. In this installment, I’ll tell you all about who I saw and what we did. And tomorrow, I’ll tell you the latest trends and how you can make your style cutting-edge and oh-so chic!

First, let’s talk biz in Paris. As usual, I had my wonderful morning and evening walk through the Jardin des Tuileries going to and from the show.

It's tempting to sit down and just spend the day people watching in the park!

The stroll really was the perfect way to begin and end the day. By the way, my home away from home was the Hotel La Perle.

The  booths of interesting items at the show were seemingly endless!

The show's tents are visible in the distance to the statue's left. On the right, booth after booth, on and on...

I get so many great ideas not only from browsing through the displays but also from seeing what everyone is wearing! (Stay tuned for Part II.)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Paris show without Cydwoq’s Rafi and Trippen’s Michael!

Rafi and Michael take a gelato break!

Sure, they make fabulous shoes, but the geniuses behind Cydwoq and Trippen are also just great guys!

When you spend as much time at shoe shows as I do, you get to know a lot of other nice retailers, like Louise from Gravity Pope!

Isn't Louise's smile great? We're about to have dinner with Rafi and Michael.

Another friend I met years ago is the lovely Amy Gardner, who owns Scarpa in Charlottesville, Va. We met up in Milan for a few days of business and pleasure!

Amy and my husband take in the view from the roof of our hotel!

We loved where we stayed: The Hotel Milano Scala, an amazing “green” hotel with a delightful rooftop deck!

Of course, because we were in Italy, it wasn’t all about shoes—it was about eating, too!!! If you like mozzarella, by all means go to Obika, which is a fantastic “mozzarella bar.” We also enjoyed the fresh fish and ceviche at Pescheria de Claudio.

There were signs of Ped all over Milan—literally:

I came back to my desk at Ped HQ refreshed from seeing old friends and enjoying a dose of European culture, and excited about all the beauty coming Ped’s way in the fall!

Home is where the shoeboxes are!

Check back tomorrow for Part II, when I’ll tell you all about what’s on the horizon for fall and how you can get a jump start on your cutting-edge style! (Why wait?)

Howdy, Gaudi! Four days in Barcelona!

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Ped fans, remember back in October when there was a lapse in blog posts? Well, part of the reason was that after shopping for Ped at the European shoe shows, my husband and I met in Barcelona, Spain, to celebrate our anniversary (and my birthday). Although we were only there for four days, we had the most romantic and wonderful time!

Our home base for our stay was the modern Hotel Claris, which is located right in the heart of the city and boasts a fabulous rooftop deck! (It even allows small dogs.)

Relaxing on the Hotel Claris's rooftop deck!

To get ourselves acclimated, we took a Barcelona City Bus Tour the first day. A two-day pass lets you jump on and off wherever you like. For us, that meant visiting places designed by that Catalan visionary of modernism, Antoni Gaudi, with whom I am obsessed!

One of the most spectacular stops was the Sagrada Familia, the elaborate Roman Catholic cathedral that Gaudi began building in 1882 and worked on until his death. (He’s buried in its crypt.) Still under construction, this awe-inspiring church is scheduled to be finished in 2026.

My husband shot this cool photo of the Sagrada Familia (note the ongoing construction) in a motorcycle mirror. The interior resembles a forest!

Other Gaudi destinations included the Casa Batilo and the Park Guell, my favorite, which includes Gaudi’s home (although the line was too long to go inside—if you’re going to go Gaudi sightseeing, go early). We loved it so much we named one of our favorite Vialis boots after the Park Guell!

I'm listening to an audio tour of the Casa Batilo, which has an interior inspired by the sea and an exterior that looks like leaves and bones. On the right is one of the many fantastical mosaic-covered sculptures in the Park Guell.

Everywhere you look in Barcelona, there is something amazing to see!

The guy on the left was performing a show with Beatles marionettes! On the right, I could not resist trying this random beautiful bench!

As Ped fans know, I revel in good food, and Barcelona did not disappoint! We had fabulous seafood at the tiny Bar MUT, delicious tapas at Tapas 24, and wonderful espresso at Il Caffe di Francesco. We also snacked at Mercat de Santa Caterina, a great market for meats and cheeses, and we ate paella on our last day at Cal Pinxo on La Barceloneta, Barcelona’s seafront promenade.

On the left, my husband beams over the best paella EVER on our last day. On the upper right, we enjoy some jamon at the Mercat de Santa Caterina, and on the lower right, the hub smiles over anchovies!

Of course, no trip is complete without doing one of the things I do best: shopping!!! We found all kinds of interesting stores, ranging from the original Vialis boutique to Vincon, which is a modern home store that’s kind of like IKEA but cooler, to Almacen Marabi, a wonderful shop full of felt toys. We also stopped by Nu Subates, my friend Roger’s all-Cydwoq store!

Standing in the doorway of Barcelona's all-Cydwoq store, Nu Sabates.

(Note the men’s Classic Oxford in the Nu Subates’ window—Ped just got this style for women!)

Our four days in Barcelona flew by! We’re sure to go back, though, because we fell head over heels for the food and culture (and, of course, Gaudi)—what a way to celebrate love!

"Buenos Dias!" with a smile from Park Guell!

Ped-setting across the pond!

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Hello, Ped fans! Sorry to leave the blog untended for so long, but I have the best possible excuse: I was shoe shopping for you in Milan and Paris! And, wow, is there a lot to look forward to next spring! Not only will Ped have the latest from your favorite designers, but we’re bringing back NDC from Belgium and adding Vic Matie sandals from Italy.

I began my style hunt in Milan, where the shoe show had an ultra-hip, retro-70s aesthetic.

So fun to look for shoes at the Micam show in Milan!

Of course, I ran into several of Ped’s treasured designers. It’s always a treat to see Chie Mihara!

Chie Mihara has such a great spirit—you just have to smile with her!

And here’s the lovely Ellen Verbeek, one of the latest additions to the Ped family. (If you haven’t checked out her gorgeous wood-soled boots yet, you really must!)

Ellen Verbeek is as beautiful as her designs!

After Milan, it was off to Paris for another shoe show (tis the season).

The Paris show's aesthetic was streamlined and modern.

I managed to get three of Ped’s favorites in one shot! Check it out:

Cydwoq's Rafi Balouzian, Chie Mihara, and Trippen's Michael Oehler—what a design-tastic trio!

You may be wondering what trends I discovered. Well, next spring is going to be very colorful; I ordered shoes in red, yellow, grey, teal, navy, caramel, along with lots of metallics, which continue to sizzle. Look for studded detailing on bags and shoes. Also, wedge heels—both wood and cork—are all the rage. And Chie’s line for Spring 2011 features lots of contrast stitching and mixes of suede and leather.

Perhaps my favorite trend is oxfords worn with skirts or cropped pants and no socks! Love that! Two looks I don’t care for, though, are thick socks with heels and nylons worn with peep-toe wedges. Ugh!

I became a little obsessed with photographing the wide range of shoes the buyers and sellers were wearing at the show. Here’s a sampler of what the shoe pros were sporting in Paris:

Honestly, two of the best parts of the day were walking to and from work because my route let me stroll through the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, which looked particularly spectacular blooming with fall flowers.

Aahhh, I love Paris in the autumn!

(By the way, in case you haven’t discovered it yet, this week’s “sweet treat” is Ellen Verbeek’s knockout Camille Boot! Get 20% off this Belgian stunner by clicking “be sweet to your feet” in the top right corner of any Ped page, which will instantly take you to the Camille and the sought-after discount code!)

Retreat to my sweetie lake

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Last week my husband and I returned from a wonderful vacation on Lake Tahoe. I spent summers there as a girl and always called it “my sweetie lake.” Now every other year, we rent a house with my sister, Terry (we call her T1 and my husband T2), and her family, who bring a boat up from Los Angeles, along with their golden retriever, Molly, Ella’s sister!

The house in Homewood we rented.

The first morning was rather eventful. I took my morning coffee out by the shore with the three dogs (let’s not forget Lulu). All of a sudden, Ella started growling at something behind me. I turned around to see a BEAR about 50 yards away! I scooped up Lulu in my arms and grabbed Ella by the collar. But Molly thought Ella was growling at me, and those two started fighting! I started screaming, “Help!!!” The bear must have thought, “That lady is nuts,” and “I do not need a dog fight!” because he lumbered away. But, wow!!!!

The rest of the trip was much more relaxing! Molly and Ella spent their days in the water, with Lulu racing up and down the shore crying for them. Occasionally Lulu would venture into the water, too.

Molly, Ella, and Lulu soaking up the Tahoe sun!

As for the humans, we spent our days tubing behind the boat, rafting down the Truckee River, paddle boarding, biking, and having barbecues. We also cruised around the lake in the boat, visiting Sand Harbor, where the water is Caribbean blue, and Emerald Bay, where one of Lake Tahoe’s oldest mansions, Vikingsholm, looks over the lake.

On the left, my sweetie and I enjoy the lake. In the upper right, the gang rafting on the Truckee River, and on the lower right, tubing behind the boat!

We also took the boat to various restaurants on the water: Sunnyside for their famous fried zucchini; Chambers Landing (the oldest structure on the lake) for their wicked “Chamber’s Punch”; and then to my old stomping ground, Garwoods, where I worked as a sweet li’l waitress in the summers of 1989 and ’90!

On the left, my sister and me. On the right, the hub and my brother-in-law Richard. We were dining at Jake's on the Lake on our last night.

It was such a wonderful vacation! Truly, Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes on the West Coast! Terry and I are fully refreshed and ready to dive into fall back here at Ped HQ. But we’ll dream of our next retreat to my sweetie lake!

Life is good when I'm floating on Lake Tahoe with Lulu!

Know your Ped: All about Dayna!

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

The other day I was chatting with a Ped customer on the phone, and she was curious about my background. So I thought I’d write a little about myself and how Ped came to be.

I grew up in California, not far from Ped HQ. At an early age, I developed a passion for art and fashion, and my father, a savvy entrepreneur, gave me an appreciation for business. I majored in fine art at UC Berkeley and then studied merchandising at the San Francisco Fashion Institute. I went off to New York for a year, where I worked  for clothing designer J. Morgan Puett (and met lifelong friend Kimmy). In 1993  I moved to Seattle, Wa. and opened my own store, Ardour, a clothing boutique that specialized in up-and-coming independent designers.

Here I am at Ardour in 1993 with my dad—truly my mentor and business inspiration—and my step-mom, Angela, who also has taught me so many things! (Check out my '90s do!)

It offered an ideal way for me to combine all my interests! Ardour quickly gained a huge following, which encouraged me to open Ped as a companion shoe store across the street in 1998. Ardour and Ped became Seattle destinations for fashion-conscious women and were featured in Lucky Magazine, InStyle, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other places. Ped became so  popular that I eventually moved it into the Ardour space.

On the left, a holiday party at Ped in 2002, and on the right, Ella as a puppy atop Ped's jewelry display case, also in 2002.

In 2001, I launched www.pedshoes.com, with the help of a tech-guru. We watched as the Internet took off, carrying Ped right along with it. Because I wanted Ped to reach as many people as possible, I decided to pour our energy into the expanding online market, and in 2006, I closed the Seattle store, relocated to California, and went totally cyber!

As Ped fans know, I continue to take great pride in offering lesser-known independent designers, who emphasize hands-on craftsmanship and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. I love discovering unusual and beautifully made things to add to Ped. Everything Ped carries is something I truly believe in and would wear myself—and, trust me, I am a stickler for detail!

But life isn’t all about work! I also enjoy great food (have I mentioned what an amazing chef my husband is?), good wine, traveling,

The hub and I having fun on a ski trip to Switzerland. (That's the Matterhorn behind us!)

gardening,

We're currently in the process of landscaping our backyard. It's coming along!

spending time with family and friends, and taking walks with Ella, our golden retriever, and Lulu, our mini dachshund.

Chief Canine Officer Lulu thinks I should step away from the desk and take her for a walk!

I also believe in giving back, so every year I donate a portion of Ped’s sales to non-profit animal welfare organizations, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, and Vitamin Angels.

There you have it—me in a nutshell!

 
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