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FUSED by SKYY

Introducing FUSED by SKYY.

If you are anything like me, than you would kill for a #notsosweet natural and fresh beverage. Now, I am not the biggest drinker but when I do, I like a soft, easy to drink beverage and that’s why I was delighted to be apart of the SKYY campaign.

It’s just so easy and accessible, a pre made fusion of three different flavours, you have Cucumber and Mint, Soda and Squeezed Lime and Homestyle Lemonade with a Splash of Bitters. Why buy  3-4 different ingredients and mixers when you can easily grab a SKYY out of the fridge, pour into a glass with crushed ice and you are good to go, refreshing and a tasty drink at your finger tips!

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Shop here:

Vodka FUSED by SKYY,  Swim by Cantik Swimwear.

Shot at Manly Beach Australia

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AIJA

It was one fine day when I was exploring Mosman on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour when I stumbled across a rather nice boutique selling good quality and on trend leather goods and silver jewellery. I couldn’t help myself, so I bought these cute and quirky triangle stud earrings.  It is the perfect go-to when you are buying a gift for someone or just a wee treat for yourself. Everything is reasonably priced and its a new and exciting product,  its different to everything else out there. It stands out, I guarantee as soon as you walk in the store and smell the fresh flowers or try on the petite stackable rings you will be hooked.

Keep on reading to find out more about these Estonian beauties and how AIJA was created.

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What sparked the idea for AIJA, where did it all start?

It wasn’t exactly a sudden light bulb moment.. more like an evolutionary process. We had some leather at home and were experimenting with different things.. skirts, dresses, bags etc… the bags in particular received a good reaction from friends and family so on our next holiday in Bali we had a few samples made and before we new it we had put in our first order and were down at Bondi markets selling them! From there it gradually grew and we opened our online store and 1½ years later we opened our first bricks and mortar store in Mosman.

I myself, a massive fan of your brand, I love your designs and creations even down to the entire layout of your boutique! 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

To be honest we don’t really overthink anything so it’s hard to say where we draw our inspiration from. We just go with our instinct and what we like. We love nature and find so much beauty in raw natural materials. I guess this is why our boutique is so heavily decked out in wood. That earthy smell of the wood and the leather in itself is quite evocative and inspiring. I think a lot of the shapes and details in our designs are inspired from our Estonian heritage and combined with a laid back Aussie approach. We have grown up surrounded by Estonian design so I guess without even thinking about it we incorporate that into our designs. Particularly in it’s simplicity and boldness.

What does it take to build a successful fashion accessory business?

Patience, persistence, a good support network & guts! Oh, and money!!! haha

Have you had any challenges along the way, do you have any advice for aspiring jewellery designers and fashion boutique owners?

Challenges? Everyday!! Just when you think you are on top of it all another MASSIVE hurdle comes along. Neither of us have run a business before so everyday is a huge learning curve. (and it’s brought us to the brink of losing it more than a few times!)

As for advice, there will be people who doubt you or want to take you for a ride along the way so you have to develop a thick skin (or selective hearing!) and be confident in what you are doing.

The main thing is have fun with it along the way!

Take us through the design and production process for your leather goods and jewellery.

It usually starts with a bottle of wine…. In the middle there is sketching, discussions, more sketching, negotiations, selection of materials, product mock-ups/sampling…. And finally, we are ready for production!! We tend to do small runs regularly so that we don’t have large amounts of stock sitting around. It’s good to keep it fresh!

What different strengths do you each bring to the drawing board?

Maali’s really organised which is great (as I’m the opposite!), obviously her experience as a Visual Merchandiser comes in handy in the shop. She’s great with the layouts and is always moving things around and making it look awesome. Actually, she’s pretty much the boss when it comes to the shop.

I do more of the background stuff. A bulk of my job is negotiating and liaising with suppliers (I’m learning Bahasa Indonesian to try and smooth out this process!) and paperwork, which I have to say is definitely not a strength but when you’ve got your own business you need to wear a lot of hats!

What aspirations do you have for AIJA in the future?

Onwards and upwards!! We actually don’t tend to plan too much.. just take good opportunities as they come up. We are keen to keep developing and growing the brand and coming up with new ideas.. and possibly another store might be in the pipeline?..

What is your most treasured piece of jewellery? 

We each have a treasured piece of jewellery left to us by our Mum, which are obviously priceless!

What is your no hesitation destination for a holiday?

Ha! We can’t even remember what a holiday feels like!! If we ever have the chance to take a couple of days off we usually go somewhere close like NSW central coast for a night or two but if we could actually take the time for a proper holiday… it would have to be Europe (probably Estonia) in the summertime. It’s so cold there for much of the year that as soon as the sun comes out it’s party time!! The vibe is awesome!

Summer is around the corner, what are your 3 summer essentials?

Great friends, cold drinks & tunes.

Where do you find yourself on your ideal Sunday morning?

Exercising (in my mind), In bed (reality).

Whats your guilty pleasure? 

Home and Away & hash browns.

www.aijabrand.com.au  or visit in store at Myahgah Mews, Mosman, (02) 9960 2458

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Escape

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Every one has that one place that makes them feel whole, where you can let go of every thing and escape. For me its the sea side. The gentle sound of the waves calms me. I find it really inspiring, it’s like a switch to restart, rethink what your doing and where your heading in life.

Wearing Lack of Color hats, vintage jumpsuit, Aija brand rings, Mink Pink button up dress, ASOS belt, Sol Sana sandals, The Beach People round towel and Witchery sunglasses.

Juggling work, life & your blog.

The million dollar question. How do you juggle work, your personal and social life as well as a kick ass blog?? The answer……..It’s not easy, find out how I do it.

When I decided to start my blog about 18 months ago, I never knew how much work, mentally and physically was involved. The fact is that most people don’t know. I am going to talk to you about my experiences and mistakes so that I can help you take the easier road.

Blogging was a serious change for me, going from a stable week to week comfortable pay check to earning $200 a week working casually, moving to Sydney from the Central Coast and signing myself up to Orana Fashion Business College for the next 12 months. Digging into my savings I managed to juggle college fees and rent as well as trying to maintain a healthy life style.

For a strong 6 months I was balancing two internships (which took up two days of my week), two casual jobs (retail and hospitality), my blog and study (which are practically full time jobs on their own). It wasn’t easy, I was working 7 days a week, mostly 12 hour days, then squeezing in time for blog posts, managing social media accounts and assignments. I didn’t see family or friends for weeks on end. I was pretty much in an imaginary long distance relationship with my poor boyfriend who I live with. I got to see him for about 2 hours at night before we went to bed, then I would be up again at 4:30am. Any way this isn’t a sob story, I am extremely proud of my achievements in the past 12 months but I believe people could make it easier for themselves.

Put yourself at the top of your priority list. A lot easier said than done, I know. I would find myself having break downs because I took on way too much at once, but I thought thats how it had to be. If you are not looking after yourself, you are not looking after your wealth. Think about what type of person your are turning up to each job, are you exhausted, un interested? No employer wants to see that. I had to take a step back, I realised the amount I was working, my mind wasn’t 100% present, I wasn’t putting in the amount of effort that I know I am capable of and expect from myself.

Be intentional with your time. Have a note book, this made my blogging life a hell of a lot easier. I write down all of my ideas and inspirations as well as an estimate of when I would like to publish the post. Schedule a time that works in best with your day, maybe after dinner or your lunch break, you have to make it work otherwise your blog won’t! Set a reminder so you don’t forget.

Plan ahead. Its also a good idea to organise your personal life so your jobs don’t get in the way. Write down your meals for the week then shop, I personally thought this was so annoying but then I started to realise how much help it actually was! Believe me. Plan ahead your days off, schedule in 2 hours for your blog, whether its writing, brain storming or taking photos. Schedule in a coffee/lunch date with your good friends, this keeps your mind happy and satisfied, you need to surround yourself with your loved ones, they inspire you without you even knowing it! If you are anything like me, you may be a serious sufferer of FOMO (fear of missing out) don’t let it happen. Last but not least, don’t forget to stay active! This clears your mind, it releases happy endorphins, I often have my best ideas when I am exercising. Yes with a crazy schedule I 100% understand how hard it is to squeeze in this time, but it is SO important. I hired myself an amazing personal trainer, much to my discomfort, but it grew on me and now we are really good friends, I look forward to our weekly training sessions.

I hope my story and tips will help you along your journey, what ever it may be. Comment below any of your tips and tricks to juggling life, work and blogs, I would love to know how you all do it!

Pink Panther

It was a beautiful sunny day on the Central Coast last weekend. It’s quite rare that I get to enjoy two consecutive days off and its even better when I get to spend it with my better half! We like to explore areas we haven’t yet seen. We are attracted to cafes like fly’s on a cake. There’s just something about the attraction of coffee that gets us every time, I don’t know if its the buzz of the people, the clinking of the coffee machine, the aroma you can smell as you walk through the doors, the incredible decor or the art of the coffee itself. We just love it and drink a lot of it. Now that you know I love coffee, here’s a pink wall featuring my new sneakers from Lacoste!

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Hello Future

Isn’t it just the best feeling completing something you set out to do a year earlier. A whole weight lifted off your shoulders and that feeling of relief and achievement. Its finally here, time to tick that box off!

So the past 12 months I have been studying Certificate IV in Business, Major in Fashion at Orana Fashion Business College, located in Ultimo, Sydney. This course was the best decision I made last year and has helped me start my career in fashion like I always wanted. A couple of my highlights so far have been the people I met through interning and paid jobs through college. I have worked on numerous photoshoots as assistant stylist now and the list of celebrities I have worked with are excitingly growing! They include the amazing Samantha Jade who won X-Factor, Montana Cox who was on ANTM, Jesinta Campbell who was Miss Universe 2010, Jessica Mauboy who was on Australian Idol, Jessica Gomes who is the David Jones ambassador, James Tobin who is an Australian TV presenter and countless Aussie models. Now not to forget the hard working recognised fashion industry people like, Siobhan Sheehan – Fashion Editor for WHO Magazine, Nicole Bonython-Hines – One of Sydney’s most sight after Stylists, it is truly a blessing and honour to work with her. Adam Worling – Founder of AWPR and the list goes on.

Fashion is such a fast paced world, not only in daily tasks but fashion itself, a trend doesn’t usually hang around for long, as soon as you start to see the ‘trend’ every where its time for a new one in my books. I can’t handle being in the same as every one else. I don’t say this in a snobby fashionista way at all! I just have a passion for it and like to be different in my own casual chic way.

So wrapping this long blog post up, the point is, if you live in Sydney, go check out Orana Fashion Business College (if your interested in fashion that is) if you don’t, I believe it would be a decision you’d regret later on. They are genuinly interested in your future and take the time to make sure you are handling everything ok and are getting what you are after. www.oranacollege.com.au

Sincerely Jules

Sincerely Jules is my go to insta stalk every day. She just has this casual chic style about her which I connect with. Of course it would be a dream come true if I could get to her level of achievements in the industry. Ive prepared a little over view of Julie Sarinana’s journey in the blogging world. Sincerely Jules was established in February 2009 as a creative outlet for her thoughts, style and inspirations. Jules has contributed to and has been featured in: Glamour.com, Elle.com, E! News, Lucky Magazine, Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan Latina.

Your welcome.

Sourced from sincerelyjules.com