9.20.2016

THE NIKIS + Fat Morgana Records

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I have had the pleasure and the honor of getting to know the talented women of the band, The Nikis. The Nikis are two sisters with a truly unique sound influenced by their German and Greek heritage plus a modern mix of ethereal and sometimes dark melodies. Their singing voices are pure and have a beautiful innocent quality that does not try to sound like anyone else but themselves. The only way to explain their style of music is to say that it encompasses their diverse musical influences and the unique lives they have lived.

Ileana and Alexia recently came to me for help developing their band’s image by showcasing their individual style through fashion. They are smart and realize that the collaboration of skills with other professionals is the best way to attain a solid result. This idea is very relevant to their latest business venture. It began, while Ileana was working as a fiddle player for various Austin bands and trying to figure out how to make a living off of her own musical vision. She had seen her dad build a successful career as an independent musician so she knew it was possible. After much contemplation, she decided to start her own record label. Alexia jumped on board as the in-house arranger, engineer, and producer. Now they are not only young, talented, musicians but they have added entrepreneur to the list of accomplishments with the creation of Fat Morgana Records. (The name comes from their father’s album in which he fused Mediterranean and jazz to create his own original sound). The concept behind the label is different in that instead of simply focusing on developing a product that sells, Fat Morgana Records consults with their artists and assists them in getting their music and business off the ground. In return the artist has to pitch in by harnessing different music income streams to finance their efforts. This allows them to take control and self-sustain their own career destiny which will be able to adapt, grow, and have longevity in an ever volatile, cutthroat industry.

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If you are a serious musician and want help reaching your career goals, but are intimidated by the typical money hungry and controlling record label, Fat Morgana Records could be the answer. They offer a rare opportunity to work with consultants who are also musicians shaping their own careers along side you. Learn more and contact them here. J

5.26.2016

desert lone star

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more than laundry (aka j and a) recently drove out to west texas to explore marfa, alpine, and terlingua. and we thought why not do a photo shoot for stellar vintique while we’re out there. A is the gorgeous model for the shoot and i was photographer but i tossed in a couple photos of myself to prove that i was there too ;)thanks to A’s sister Alia, we got the local experience of swimming in the best and secret water hole, eating at the gorgeous restaurant El Capri in Marfa, and the super sexy hot tub time at el cosmico. The amount of stars you can see at night is breathtaking. The hot dry air all day forces you to chug water like your life depends on it. the mountains and desert landscape coax you to open your eyes wider to try and take it in. everything about this trip made us feel alive and free of the usual big city hustle and bustle. looking forward to an encoure soon

4.01.2016

Mexico City

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new pinky ring from the handmade market

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Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera’s blue house. Amazing house and incredible art

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Fell in love with the uniquely stunning architecture and lush parks

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Districto Historico and Catedral Metropolitana

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Mayan city of Theotican later inhabited by the Aztecs just outside of Mexico City

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Mexicanos tienen estilo!

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Mexico City (Mexico D.F.) is the epitome of a world class city. It is bursting with vibrant culture and rich history. You can see it on every street and feel it in the abundant mercados that are so fun to wander through. You can taste it in the incredible street tacos on every corner. You can feel it in the cantinas and fine dining restaurants. The people are so beautiful and diverse. From the uber-rich to the extremely poverty stricken… As with all major cities, there are the wealthy neighborhoods and the poor ones. We were able to stay in the lovely neighborhood of Condessa (our Airbnb was our home away from home)and we spent much of our time here and the neighboring districts called Roma Norte and Coyoacan. These neighborhoods reminded me of my travels to Europe. There were lovely people sitting outside of cafes talking, precious dogs skipping next to their owners in the many lush parks, fabulous fashion and style on literally every person, and smiles from strangers all the time. We could walk to so many of the places we wanted to see. The rest of the time we took Ubers which were much less expensive and more reliable that in the States. This was very convenient as the street traffic was quite complicated and confusing. However, I was so impressed with the traffic “culture”. Many four way stops did not have stop signs. Cars would approach and yield to each other so naturally. Drivers would cut into traffic constantly which was accepted and expected. Horns honked a lot but more as a common form of communication and not out of anger. We did venture out further, in search of second hand clothing, to areas where life is less polished and glamorous but at the same time just as beautiful. My week in Mexico City was life changing as it finally connected me to my heritage beyond what my family has taught me and what I have absorbed here in Texas. I love it so much, I would consider making Mexico my permanent home in the future. I am so grateful to my loving man, Jan, for giving me this opportunity and taking me on this trip as one of the best birthday presents ever! I am very much looking forward to continuing our travels to Mexico with the next trip to the city of Oaxaca where so many young artists, chefs, and professionals at the top of their fields are molding the culture in a way that attracts travelers from across the globe. To quote Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” So pick a place, any place… And put Mexico on the list! J