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Faces & Places

DAYDREAMING with Ariane Dutzi

Ariane was born and raised in Germany. She also lived for a time in Paris where she worked as a foreign correspondent in Fashion, Art & Design, a move to NYC followed and this would be her next stop for another four years. She then had a mid life crisis or sudden epiphany as we creatives do at some point in our lives (speaking from my own experience) She needed a break from her fast paced life in the big cities, so she took off for the Yucatan. This is where her alter ego life would flourish and Dutzi Design would be founded. I've admired Dutzi Desgin for quite some time and I love that she followed her heart and a dream. The bags are impeccably made and the design esthetic is gorgeous and so unique. I am so lucky to carry her bags in the shop. The handmade process helps an entire community of women in a near by village. The women are paid per bag which encourages productivity. They go to the studio and pick up all of the supplies so they can work from home.  Dutzi employs over 20 mayan artisans in the this indigenous community. I was so honored to visit and meet these lovely women. Dutzi was formed out of a change of life and direction so the company had to be different , something to reflect her beliefs in sustainability, quality and making a statement through this design concept. The materials used are eco- friendly with most of the bags being made from recycled burlap sourced from Mexico. Each bag is handcrafted, one of a kind and most importantly changes the landscape of these women's lives and their families and communities. 

Maiyet, who works in collaboration with Nest. I love their esthetics.

Audrey Hepburn. Love her timeless elegance.

Tulum in the low season. I love being on the beach. My favorites are meditation, walks on the beach with my dogs, swimming in the Caribbean.  Life in the Yucatan couldn't get any better!

I would love to visit more of Latin America. Brasil and Punta del Este are definitely on the bucket list.
But my all time favorite is Europe. I love Paris and I love to spend summers in Croatia and Sarajevo. Last year I went to Laguna Beach & Los Angeles in CA and and loved both places. As you can see, there are so many inspirational places so It's hard to choose a favorite . 

Merida and Izamal. Izamal, the yellow town is just gorgeous and so peaceful. Merida is hopping these days. Every time I go there, they've  opened a new restaurant or a new art gallery. I love the combination of the old and the new. The food in Merida is also a highlight.

6. If you hadn't made that life decision to drop everything and move~where do you think you would be now and where?
Hard to tell, maybe still in NY working as a foreign correspondent. Or I might have moved back to Paris.

7. What prompted the trip to Mexico and how did you discover and ultimately settle in Valladolid?
Friends of friends  opened a hotel in Tulum. It was called Las Ranitas. At the time Tulum was an off the radar destination, there were only four hotels. I was in desperate need of a break from my NY life. I took a sabbatical and went to Tulum. I didn’t know much about it. But I saw pictures of the beach and said, that's where I need to be. It was in the middle of January in NY and freezing so I decided to take three months off. I loved Tulum the the moment I arrived. And yes, it was exactly what I needed. Three months became a year and then another 6 months and so on. First I helped my friends with the hotel, then I met Nicolas Malleville (a famous argentinean model aka known as the founder of Coqui Coqui perfumes and hotels) who was embarking on his dream to design and develop  hotels in the Yucatan. After doing this for awhile, I decided that maybe it was time to go back to NY. At the time  I was ready again for a little bit more action and a better social life.  I moved back to NY, but spent part time in Tulum. I got a job to running a Vintage show room in NYC, created by the former Vintage buyer of Ralph Lauren. Eventually I missed my Tulum life too much so what was meant to be a three month sabbatical turned into a long term affair.  I decided to buy a house in Valladolid and renovate it. Valladolid is a beautiful old colonial city which is only 1 1/2 hours from Tulum. I just didn’t see myself living alone as a single woman on the beach of Tulum with no electricity and no hot water. I am not good with generators and the rustic life. I love the peacefulness of Valladolid, loved the culture and the architecture. The town is nearly 500 years old. I bought a colonial house, which I restored and started my company here. There are also more artisans in and around Valladolid. Tulum is a rather new place and new town.  Valladolid  is a perfect home base. We are only 1 1/2 from Tulum, Cancun and from Merida. From here you can explore the beaches of Holbox, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, etc. and the culture of Merida with their surrounding haciendas.

8. Where to you find the most inspiration?
I travel a lot. Most of my inspiration comes from nature. It could be walks in the jungle or Upstate NY (I still spend a lot of time in NYC and Upstate NY). Colors of Valladolid? Yes, I definitively love the colors of Valladolid and in general the colors of Mexico. This is one thing, I am so attracted to in this country.

9. Did you know Spanish or did you to learn Spanish?
Yes, absolutely. I am also thinking about finally learning Maya. It’s something I wanted to learn for a long time. But restoring my house and starting my company didn’t leave me with much free time.  I love the mayan language and most of my artisans speak maya and not Spanish.

10. How did you decide to use Jute as your material choice?
I was looking for a material, which is used nearly all over the world. For me jute is symbolic. I truly believe, that we are all connected. My grandparents had a farm in Germany. That’s where I grew up. I was always close to Mother Nature. The smell of the Earth is one of my first memories. I wanted to work with a material, which leads us back to Mother Earth. That’s why the jute sacks were perfect. You transport from seeds to a finished product like coffee in them. So for me they are the homage to Mother Earth and to my grandparents and their life on the farm. I also love the prints and the fonds on them. They are like a piece of art for me. It couldn’t be better.

11. Mayan beauty secrets?
Drink a lime juice first thing in the morning. It cleanses your body, which gives you clean and radiant skin. If you can drink one lime first thing in the morning without diluting will have the most benefit. 

12. Mexican artist?
Francisco Toledo and Guillermo Olguin

13. Advice for anyone that wants to quit the day job and start a new life?
Find YOUR place first. Get inside yourself,  travel and  find your passion. Nothing is easy in life, that’s why you need to have passion for it.  Passion and love for something will will make it easier to overcome the difficult times.

~Photos below from my studio tour in Valladolid.

~Also check out our Instagram for more images of our lovely visit to this beautiful colonial town. 

DUTZI IG @dutzistyle

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 Daydreaming of a trip to San Miguel?

My packing recommendations for San Miguel= Camera!! You will stop for photos at every little nook and cranny. There is so much color, architecture, light and inspiration in this town. My second must=SHOES!! Pack according to the most comfortable shoes you own. I always pack an assortment of flowy dresses to wear with sneakers. Once you start seeing women twist their ankles on the cobblestones, you will rethink those sexy shoes you have on and go back to your casa for some me. I am always stalking cute cafes and Centro does not disappoint with the cute & delicious. You'll find art galleries, boutiques and all kinds of beauty in non-descript courtyards and side streets. Hopefully you will witness  a magical wedding parade.. We were lucky to see a few with Mariachi bands and the infamous Mojiangas (giant 15ft tall puppets) a tradition in San Miguel. These moments were really a highlight of our stay, like a fairy tale. You may rethink your wedding plans and head to San Miguel!! 

A curated little guide and a link to our POP-UP

SLEEP~ It's really hard to decide where to stay in SMDA. There are magical villas on airbnb and lovely quaint hotels everywhere. I get FOMO so I usually stay in a couple of places. The last time I was there I checked out an airbnb and stayed at Casa No Name and Amparo. You will not be disappointed with a stay in either of these hotels. Just make sure you check the location of your home stay. Many are up in neighborhoods adjacent to Centro. This will mean walking up and down hills everyday unless you take a taxi. Like I said....sneakers!!

Amparo @amparosma

Casa No Name @casa_noname

Airbnb by @mynomadic.journey


Don Taco Tequila  @dontacotequila (vegan)


Tosteveresma  @tosteveresma 

Nectar~ @nectarencaminosilvestre

Garambullo @garambullo_fondagourmet

Explore Doce 18 Concept House~@birdiesburgers


Kibok @kibokcoffeebar (absolute favorite)

Lavanda @lavanda_cafe

Geek and Coffee @geekandcoffee

La Mesa Grande @lamesagrande

Albedo cafe @albedocafe


La Mezcaleria Correo 47 @lamezcaleriasma

Bar Margaret~ At Amparo @barmargaretsma

Casa No Name~Rooftop of hotel

Rosewood~Rooftop view is amazing

El Manantial @cantinaelmanantial

Spice Market at Live Aqua  @liveaquasanmiguel

CASA Chiquita-BED & PIZZA Correo 45~Centro


Via Organica @viaorganica

Mercado Sano @mercadosanosma

Josephines smoothies


Mente Cacao

Fantastic - Xocolatl~Aldama 83


Mercado Collective-Calle Jesús 27 @mercado.collective

Mixta-Pila Seca No. 3 Centro @mixtasanmiguel

Mercado de  Artesanias~spans blocks

Hecho SMA~Natural Apothecary Jesús 24 @hecho_sma

Plar at Aldama 30


El Charco del Ingenio~Jardin Botanico

Venture out for a horseback ride (Via Organico offers) or a company called-Leisure Country horseback riding

Mask & Toy Museums

El Santuario de Atotonilco ~Just out of town

Hot springs-Just out of town

Tequila Tour with Casa Dragones @casadragones

Shanti San Miguel~Tried to go last time but didn't hear back. Supposed to be a tranquil little spot


More inspiration IG @keeplefttravel

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AXEL & ASH~On Bucket lists and Wanderlust


AXEL & ASH~It's a lovely bonus when business turns into friendship. These 2 amazing Aussie girls (one by way of Sweden) made their daydreams come true with their wonderful books WANDERLUST & BUCKET LIST (in stock)  We share the same style, aesthetic, passion and a mutual girl crush. We got to meet in California to collaborate,  hangout, share stories, Instagram obsess and rollerskate at the I share with you 2 of my new best friends~


Axel: Oh the one we just finished - road trip across the states to find all the coolest stores to house our books. It was two months on the road in 7 different cars, from Mustangs and luxury hotels to an RV we lived in for 2.5 weeks. We explored and experienced so much of the country, made wonderful new friends, ticked off a bunch of our own bucketlist items (Pick an avocado straight from a tree, dance at a roof top party in New York, and cross the golden gate bridge on a bicycle) and had an absolute blast!

Ash: Ahhhh there are so many amazing ones! I have absolutely loved every single item I have ticked off my Bucketlist. Definitely starting a business with a friend has been the  longest, wildest and the most amazing journey….Although, I think one of the biggest solo adventures I did was when I walked The Camino to Santiago De Compestella. The trek took me a month to do. I started from the Pyreenees in South of France and walked all the way across Spain to the tip of the ocean, ending in Finisterra. I walked 960km over 30 days finishing on my birthday. France & Spain were so beautiful, you see all types of terrain and I met so many amazing people from all walks of life. I really loved the journey and not knowing what tomorrow would bring. The excitement of reaching the ultimate destination after working so hard physically  was one of the biggest & proudest accomplishments of my life. 

Axel: Early morning, a long boardwalk, sun, friends and rollerskates!
Ash: When you’re free as a bird, doing what you love everyday, surrounded by the people you love and who inspire you to be your best self.

Axel: All time fave was 'Roadtrippin' - Red Hot chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash and Coldplay but after only having radio for 2 weeks in our RV, I fell massively for Taylor Swift - Wildest dreams starting.. 'let's get out of this town, drive out of the city, away from the crowd.  

Ash: I love indie rock, but really anything that makes feel like dancing does it for me. However, ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Taylor Swift, captures my heart as my fav song. We listened to that on repeat (on our road trip) and never once got sick of it.                                                                                                       


Axel: Haha - you know this one :)  I'm always inspired by a clean, fresh feed and being an ocean baby, I try to mirror that as much as possible. We love lots of whites and blues and try to follow that but it's hard when you are in big cities where everything tends to be more brownish! 
Ash: I am a big believer in posting what inspires you, what you love or creating/doing. People are attracted to your brand because something has inspired them and because they really like following your journey and adventures. Therefore, I think it’s important to stay true to that.

5. CAMERA LOVE?                                                                                         

Axel: Canon 7D! I love my Canon, however it died on our last trip and I reverted to iPhone - missing the pretty pics but it certainly saves energy not lugging a big camera around!
Ash: I am a big fan of Nikon cameras, but recently I changed to a Fuji… I’m still adjusting to it, but loving my wifi connection where I can send pictures from my camera directly to my phone without any computer or cords!

Axel: Egyptian Magic. It work wonders on a 16 hr. flight from LA to Sydney! And I always clean my face and leave it just slightly wet 2-3 times during the flight. Feels like it refreshes me somehow.

Ash: Water! Water & Water! Staying hydrated is key to not  feel dehydrated or lethargic when arriving to my destination. .

Axel: If I was only that sophisticated! :) Whatever works as long as it has four wheels and an outside pocket.
Ash: I really like American Tourister luggage.

Axel: I really like the Andaz hotel chain! They are just fun & fresh and the staff is so chilled and extremely helpful. i don't like the typical stiff hotel staff.
Ash: W Retreat & Spa Bali. A really funky & very cool hotel. I love the creative design and modern art that is splashing out everywhere.. It really caters for the modern traveller of today. Their attention to detail is immaculate, you’re really wowed by everything. From the amazing restaurants, private apartments, indulging spa, bars and the beautiful beach & sunsets that set over the horizon… the perfect place to holiday in style..

Axel: Anything California - but I must say Abbot Kinney road and the boardwalks of Venice Beach in L.A as I am obsessed by roller skating at the moment.
Ash: Too many! Hawaii, San Francisco, LA, all the Californian beaches, New Orleans, Austin & New York! Favourites for all different reasons :)

Axel: 'Oh That's Fun!' I feel like I'm in a high school Hollywood movie everytime I hear it (which is like all the time!) And we are obsessed with the Poke in Hawaii - one cuisine that has not yet been copied in Sydney. #yum! 
Ash: Hahaha I love the word ‘y’all’… makes me laugh so much, especially with the Southern accents! Also, Wholefoods… was slightly obsessed with that chain and wish we could take all the stores back with us to Australia. I also loved all the clothing and style in the LA boutiques!

Axel: Too many people! I just love hearing stories about people, what they do, what they dream of and what they aspire to. Everybody I meet who is really pushing and working to reach a dream ( work wise, personal, artistic, etc.) it all inspires me!
Ash: Ahhh I get inspired by so many different things. From meeting new people, listening to a friend achieve something amazing, doing yoga by the sea, watching an athlete run a marathon, reading a great magazine article, watching a documentary or looking at a phenomenal piece of art! I really feel the world throws out inspiration everywhere and everyday which is what makes it so magical.

Axel: Ash has been pushing this for years, I love my job and want to keep a foot in both ends, but after working double jobs (full time job and full time business on the side) for years it has taken it's toll. We actually get a little jealous when our friends say they are bored.. I haven't been bored for as long as I can remember but I think it is needed for the brain and well being to have a rest. We decided that our US road trip would be the big break we needed from our everyday lives so that we could put all of our time and energy into our business. It was great to have the time to move forward and  fulfill all of our wildest dreams and ideas.
Ash: As Hanna said,we were working so much and not having a balanced life. We both worked full-time jobs + full-time on the business for 3 years in order to support our dream. We didn’t ever give up and always strived to be working full-time on what we loved.  When we work on Axel & Ash it doesn’t feel like work, the hours fly by and we absolutely love every minute of it. Everyday is so different and we’re always learning new things. All of our hard work has paid off and now I work full time on Axel & Ash.

Axel: I really don't care about tourist attractions. I like to feel the real pulse of a city, befriend the locals and be part of the everyday life wherever I am.  My absolute favourite part of travelling is meeting so many random & interesting people. I often end up being invited to their home for dinner, a party or a family excursion. I've made lifelong friends this way and there is something so magical in the meeting between people and cultures.... those are always my highlights!
Ash: Don’t be scared of the unknown. Going to any new place can be out of your comfort zone, but don’t stress and just let the destination take you with it to truly live every single moment. I also love grabbing the Hop on & off bus. It’s my way to capture the cities blue print in my mind and hear the history behind it before I go exploring. I really like to get my bearings of any new city and to learn as much as I can. The bus allows me to watch the city from above and take it all in. 

Axel: You might think you need more experience to pursue your dream but you don't so DO IT sooner rather than later!
Ash: Believe in yourself and follow your dreams from the get go!

Axel: Too many places. I've lived and worked in 4 of the 6 continents (Thailand, Spain, Sweden, Norway, US & Australia) and with that comes leaving beautiful places and wonderful friends. I have left pieces of my heart scattered all over the world!
Ash: Paris & New York.

Axel: I fell in love with the rad shopfronts and palm tree lined Abbot Kinney in Venice. And of course Sweden (my hometown) - never fail to fill my suitcase up with new goodies when I'm home.
Ash: Bleecker Street, Manhattan (NYC). Finding items that aren’t everywhere is my favourite thing to do. There are so many cool and funky independent designers. I always find so many items to take back with me

17. BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN? (for business)
Axel: Actually I haven't received much but one that sticks is 'Fail fast' by Lisa Messenger! It's so true. If something doesn't work - dont dwell on it. Just realize, learn and move on!
Ash: Don’t be afraid to go for it, ask for help or approach people. So many people are hesitant and worry what others will think. Just believe in yourself and go for it, follow your dream and don’t look back. Talk to strangers and tell them all about your goals… the universe will then open all the doors!

Axel: Open roads ahead of me. I never feel as free as when I am on a road trip, sleeping in a car, stopping wherever & wherever my heart desires. With good company and time on my hands and no stress.. That's freedom.
Ash: Doing what you love everyday!

Axel: 'You only live once - but if you do it right, once is enough!" by Mae West
Ash: ‘Believe you can, and you will’

Axel: I am a studio News Director - a very random job! A studio director is the person in the control room who speaks in the ear of the presenter, camera guys etc. calls the shots, and simply directs the whole control room and program - Live on air. You have to be very focused and in the moment - If I do anything wrong it's already too late.. It will go straight out on air. I love it! Once it was my dream job and I still do it on the side. I love coming back into the studio but I also love that I have the freedom to pursue another path and I have to pinch myself that I get to live my dream.

Ash: I was an Associate Financial Planner. I really loved the finance industry and learnt so much about business and economics. However, my true passion is for writing and creating.

Axel: Toiletry bags by NUNO (shop Mercado)
Ash: Ali Lamu Totes~weekender ! (Shop Summer essentials)

Axel: Waaay to much - every time! But in the end I can't live without a pair of jeans shorts or black coated jeans and a white tee! A pair of heels and a pair of thongs and a white flowy dress and I'm set!
Ash: Camera, laptop, converse, jeans, white top & my swimmers!

All the cute summer girls in Bondi!
Cara Delevinge

Axel: When you just feel inside you that you want to get away, have freedom, no time constraints, no plans. Just go and let the world take you!
Ash: Where all you want to do is set out and take flight. You want to explore, adventure, live in the moment and experience new things. Travelling is the most beautiful thing that allows you to do all that.




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DEBRA FERULLO Makeup Artist~ On Birkenstocks & Beauty

Debra is the epitome of bohemian cool. She is incredibly down to earth and an amazing makeup artist. Her signature flawless glow can be seen on 
 ~Drew Barrymore, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cindy Crawford.. and that is the short list. Here she shares makeup tips, style and her lack of a bucket list.

I don't really have one. I just love beauty in all its shapes and form. You can find inspiration anywhere and who knows why or what triggers that in oneself.

Glossier Future Dew


 I am very fond of the Honeycomb Apothecary jars. (shop lifestyle) 

I'd probably just die.


It's funny in my twenties and thirties when I didn't really need makeup I wore it every day.  Now that I'm in my 40's, I only where it when I'm working.I will add a little concealer where needed, two coats of mascara and a lip color. However, I am all about skin care and sunblock. I love La Mer's Lifting and Firming mask. It's the only thing that I think makes a difference!!  I ALWAYS use a sunblock and my go to product is Christine Chin's sunscreen.

I'm not a big traveler (except for work) but I would love to do Montana and Alaska in the summer. I've spent a winter there on a movie, but never a summer and I'd love to see it then!


I love going to the movies by myself. Always have!

Skin. Get it right and the rest is easy. I'm also a big fan of cream contours. I think they look so much more natural, but you can still create great angles and depth or you can even just warm up the skin tone with them. Beauty trick~use a darker foundation stick (Makeup-forever is a fav) as a contour instead of powder. Choose a color deeper than your normal foundation and contour where needed.


Birkenstocks!! But way before the current obsession. I went to the University of Maine where the tag line was "The school that goes crunch". There was no way around not owning a pair of Birkenstocks. To this day I haven't been able to give them up! I also wear no color~just black, white or grey


I don't have that weird?

IG:  @debraferullomakeup



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