Archive for the ‘Dayna’s travels’ Category

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, 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!)


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!

Ped across the pond!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Hey, Ped fans, I just got back from my twice-yearly trip to Paris, where I scouted out all kinds of wonderful things for you to enjoy in Fall 2010. Let’s just say you have a lot to look forward to!

I started off the trip by spending a rainy day in Milan visiting Fiorentini + Baker and hunting for cool, new shoe designers. As usual F+B wowed me with their fabulous boots—get ready for an over-the-knee knockout(!!!) and a chunky-heeled ankle boot coming your way in autumn! I am smitten with F+B’s blue and green leathers, plus there’s a beautiful new grey called “rabbit.” Are you wondering if I discovered any new designers to add to Ped’s lineup? YES, I did! I don’t want to name names just yet, but I found three—one from Israel, one from Belgium, and one from Barcelona, Spain—who all create unusual and beautifully made designs! I can’t wait for you to see them!

Milan 2010

It may have been rainy at the Duomo di Milano, but Amy's smile was still sunny!

My shoe friend Amy from Virginia was also in Milan, so we battled the rain and went out for a “light” dinner. Let me tell you, going “light” in Italy is impossible—we feasted on bruschetta, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and ravioli in cream sauce. Yum!

Then it was off to Paris for five days! While there, I picked out new Antipast items, which you will love, and swooned over Sophie Digard’s latest designs. Cross your fingers because I’m hoping she’ll make us some arm warmers for chilly days next fall! Karin Wagner took the train from Switzerland to deliver her latest wonders to me in person! How sweet was that?

Paris 2010

Sophie Digard (center) flanked by her lovely staff amid her gorgeous scarves!

As usual, Rafi from Cydwoq and I went to our favorite Lebanese restaurant to talk shop. I also drank coffee and discussed new styles for Ped with Trippen’s Michael and Claudia. And we had a Seattle Ped reunion when I ran into former Ped employees, Nealy and Nicole! The days were so full that I didn’t have any time to sightsee or shop this go-round, but I did enjoy my morning walks through the Jardin des Tuileries on the way to work (although, brrr, it was brisk—26 degrees)!

Children sailing boats in the Jardin des Tuileries. What a wonderful walk to work!

I came back happy and satisfied from a very productive trip! Although I’m in no hurry to rush through spring and summer, wow, is Ped ever ready to dazzle you in Fall 2010! You’re going to smile, I promise!

Une tasse de café (ou deux ou trois)

Monday, October 19th, 2009

During the first week in October, I made my biannual trip to Paris for the international shoe show (and, of course, for a dose of Parisian culture, shopping, and food). I had so much fun! Although I didn’t notice any overriding new trends—just a lot more black—I do have some wonderful tips about things on tap from Cydwoq, Trippen, and Fiorentini + Baker.

At the show Cydwoq and Trippen had their booths right next to each other, which makes sense since they both appeal to customers who appreciate edgy, arty, and comfortable shoes that have an ethical and environmentally aware sensibility. Michael of Trippen bought a new espresso machine, which he set up in Cydwoq’s booth, so you can guess where everybody gathered!

The beloved new espresso maker on the right, and Cydwoq's Rafi and Trippen's Michael enjoying its output on the left.

The beloved new espresso maker on the left, and Cydwoq's Rafi and Trippen's Michael enjoying its output on the right.

Cydwoq has gorgeous washed leathers for spring and summer in beautiful shades of caramel, dark brown, and yellow. Trippen, meanwhile, fulfilled my constant quest for green shoes, plus I discovered great silver and steel metallics at Trippen. And, yes, the popular wedge and cups soles will be coming your way again for spring (we love them).

The Baker in Fiorentini + Baker, Deborah Baker has one of the best smiles in the business!

The Baker in Fiorentini + Baker, Deborah Baker has one of the best smiles in the business!

Meanwhile, over at Fiorentini + Baker, I fell for the relaxed tall boots and low ankle boots in suede. And get ready for the F+B triple-buckle sandal that’s coming to Ped for warm weather!

Plus, Fiorentini+ Baker is offering styles in lovely new greens and blues. Ped fans, you will swoon!

When I wasn’t working, I shopped and ate and ate and ate some more. My shoe pals and I noshed on great Lebanese food at Noura, and we made our regular pilgrimage to Fish La Boissonnerie for homemade bread and, yes, fish. And, needless to say, we all drank a lot of coffee!

The weather was beautiful the first two days, so I took time to visit the Jardin de Tuileries.

Jardin de Tuileries.

Jardin de Tuileries.

Unfortunately, it rained the rest of the time, but since I had to be inside anyway, it didn’t really matter. After all, who can complain when my walk home every evening offered this view?

Virginia is for lovers!

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

At the beginning of September, Ped’s Chief Canine Officer, Lulu, took my husband and me on a trip to Charlottesville, Va., to celebrate our beloved friend Amy’s 40th birthday. The owner and genius behind Rock, Paper, Scissors and Scarpa, Amy became my bud years ago, thanks to shoes, when we originally met at trade shows!

Know who else lives in C’ville, Ped fans? Ped’s creative associate, Laura! Plus, our friend Kimmy made the trip down from New York City. It was quite an eventful weekend! If you’ve never been to Charlottesville, you really should visit—it’s a beautiful town, bursting with history and overflowing with great shops and restaurants.

The first day, we had lunch at Hamiltons’ before shopping on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. When I stopped into Eloise (on nearby Water St.), who did I run into but my childhood friend from California, Jason!!! I had no idea he lived in Charlottesville. What a great surprise!

Reunited and we feel so good--Jason and I ham it up for the camera on the left, and Kimmy, Terry, and lovely Lulu relax at Hamiltons' on the right.

Reunited and we feel so good--Jason and I ham it up for the camera on the left, and Kim, the hub, and lovely Lulu relax at Hamiltons' on the right.

That evening we met Laura at MAS, a fantastic tapas restaurant in C’ville’s Belmont neighborhood. Our waiter entertained us by aerating the wine.

TThe waiter has us spellbound with his wine pouring technique at MAS.

The MAS waiter has us spellbound with his wine pouring technique.

The next day, Amy arranged for us to have a special tour of Thomas Jefferson’s famous home, Monticello (we got to go upstairs!), and then we spent the rest of the afternoon helping Amy prepare for her big birthday bash!

Kim and Amy pretending they're spinning and scratching. (We left it to the professional that night.)

Kim and Amy pretend they're spinning and scratching. (We left it to the professionals that night.)

Then it was time for the big party, where everybody had a blast!

The dance floor was jumping!

The dance floor is jumping!

As usual, we Ped-sters had as much fun as anyone!

Terry, me, and Laura (who looks a little disheveled from all the dancing she was doing).

My husband, me, and Laura (who looks a little disheveled from all her dancing), happy to be at the party!

The next day was devoted to clean-up and recovery, although we did take time to shop for amazing pottery at The Barn Swallow. Then we all met for our final dinner in Charlottesville at TEN, which serves up fabulous sushi on the Downtown Mall.

After our whirlwind trip, it was back to Ped HQ in Berkeley. But we left a little bit of our hearts in Virginia, which truly is for lovers!

Stay tuned—you never know where Lulu will take us next.

Dayna’s Big Adventure, Part 4: Bangkok!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

After a few relaxing days of sand and sun in Phuket, we were ready for more sightseeing! So off we went to Bangkok, where we had so much fun (as usual)! Here are the highlights (remember, two asterisks indicate a “must-do”):

** We hired a terrific guide who grew up in Bangkok. He goes by Jerry, although his Thai name is name Sivawong Therdthounthai. (If you’d like to use his services, you can contact him at He took us all around Bangkok—to the local farmers market, out to lunch, on the water taxi, and to the local shopping mall, where we browsed through traditional handmade crafts. We used the public “sky train” (like S.F.’s BART) to go everywhere. Jerry was absolutely great and knew how to get to many places in a short amount of time. I highly recommend him as a guide! He was a Buddhist monk for two years and has a terrific personality.

The view from our 18th floor hotel room, vendors and craftspeople on the street, and Keri, Kara, Angela, and the ever patient and accommodating Jerry (carrying Kara's backpack!).

The view from our 18th floor hotel room, vendors and craftspeople on the street, and Keri, Kara, and Angela on the sky train with the ever-patient and accommodating Jerry (he's carrying Kara's backpack!).

** On our second day in Bangkok, Jerry took us to the best Floating Market in the area. It was about an hour south of the city. There were lots of vendors selling crafts and local fruits. We tried the fried bananas and mini coconut pancakes—yum! Word to the wise: if you go to this Floating Market, go early because it gets very crowded!

The Floating Market, and the woman who made us delicious coconut pancakes!

The Floating Market, and the woman who made us delicious coconut pancakes!

* Wood Carving Factory — The craftspeople here carve intricate elephants, bears, trees and landscapes for furniture and wall hangings. The work is unbelievably detailed.

Elephants at the woodcarving factory, and a worker executing the incredibly detailed carving.

Elephants outside the woodcarving factory, and a worker executing the incredibly detailed carving.

** Fishing Village — Jerry took us to a fishing village near Bangkok, where we went out on a local fisherman’s boat. He showed us his cockel farm during low tide. Then we went out to the oyster farms in the deeper waters. On the way back, we rode through the mud flats on the boat—it was so fun but very dirty!

Me with Jerry and our fishing village driver, Reid. A fisherman hard at work harvesting oysters.

Here I am with Jerry and our fishing village driver, Reid. A fisherman hard at work harvesting oysters.

** Monkeys! Next our boat driver, Reid, and Jerry took us to feed wild monkeys. We arrived at an inlet, turned off the boat’s motor, and then Reid did a monkey call. Wow! Dozens of monkeys appeared! Big ones, babies, you name it. They swam out to the boat, where we threw hundreds of bananas to them. They were SO happy, and it was a really fun experience! You will laugh the entire time!

Reid calls the elephants. I laughed the whole time because the monkeys were so much fun enjoying their banana snacks.

Reid called the monkeys. and I cracked up the whole time because the monkeys were so entertaining as they enjoyed their banana snacks.

** The State Tower Sky Bar — We went here on our last night. The Sky Bar is on the 63rd floor of the State Tower and overlooks ALL of Bangkok. The views are absolutely spectacular! But be sure just to have a drink because the food is outrageously expensive!

What a fantastic two weeks, and how fun to share the experience with my mom, sister, and niece. We four gals took Southeast Asia by storm and had a complete blast doing it!!! Now I want to go back…

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