Posts filed under Maven Style

New Kicheko Goods on TOMS Marketplace

From earthy textures to sunset hues, Kicheko's new pieces are inspired by the colors and warmth of spring and we are excited to share that these pieces are now for sale on TOMS Marketplace. With two new necklaces and a pair of druzy earrings, this batch is composed of the Soleil necklace, Queensland Arrow necklace and Prism Aura Druzy Studs. Learn more about the collection below!

Soleil Stone Necklace

A statement necklace that gives off vibes for the sun, beach and outdoors, this necklace is made out of agate and quartz in a unique color matrix that gives the wearer a truly distinctive piece. Edged in gold-plate and set with a matte gold-plate brass bar, the Soleil is set on 14kt gold-filled chain.

  • Imported Materials. Made in the USA
  • Quartz/Agate, Gold–Plate and Gold-Filled Brass
  • Stone color may vary from translucent yellows to deep orange
  • Dimensions: Stone is approximately 30mm x 30-40mm. Necklace is 30” in length

Queensland Arrow Necklace

A beautiful stone of royal and historical significance, this necklace is made of bright and deep green chrysoprase edged in gold-plate. No two stones are alike as each piece is fashioned uniquely from specific raw material. An elegant statement piece, the Queensland is set on 14kt gold-filled chain.

  • Imported Materials. Made in the USA
  • Chrysoprase/Agate, Gold-Plate and Gold-Filled Brass
  • Stone color matrix varies between green/browns and teal/turquoise
  • Dimensions: Stone is approximately 30mm x 30-40mm. Necklace is 30” in length

Prism Aura Druzy Studs

Brilliant in color with a naturally velvet texture, the Prism Aura Druzy Studs feature tiny crystals that have grown slowly over millions of years on top of quartz stone. Finished and refined with a layer of titanium on the outside, these studs are beautiful additions to your accessories line. Stones are set on stainless steel posts and earnuts.

  • Imported Materials. Made in the USA
  • Genuine Druzy Quartz, Stainless Steel
  • Dimensions: 10mm (diameter)

As spring draws even closer, the warmth, greens and flora of the season will inspire a season change of wardrobe and accessories. Think of us as you edit your wardrobes and curate for the sunnier temperatures. Remember, each purchase sends one child to school for one month in eastern Congo. We can't wait to see how you style your new Kicheko pieces. Tag us @kichekogoods and use #kichekostyle. Shop your new looks and the sale on TOMS Marketplace

Thanks to the ever-talented Erica Baker @ericabakerphoto for the gorgeous photography. It's such fun making pictures together. Thank you to Theresa Bennett of @madebytheresa, Amanda Lee of @shopkaleidos and Carolina Soto of @cdsoto for modeling for Kicheko. Your spirits are so so bright! xoxo

Summer in Paper by Lorraine Nam

August in the District is particularly lazy and hazy - Congress in recess, residents away from the office, students at all levels soaking up the last rays of summer before school starts. In fact, I am writing this post from Cancun on a much-anticipated vacation with my husband's family. Celebrating many milestones this year and eager at a chance to be all together next to blue waters and ancient pyramids, family members flew in as far as The Netherlands. While we're enjoying this week on the Yucatan, I am quite excited to share Kicheko's latest collaboration. Kicheko teamed up with Lorraine Nam, New York-based illustrator, textile designer and paper artist, to produce three distinct images styled with pieces from the new collection. Narrowing down our favorite summer activities to exploring the city, poolside hangs, and weekends at the beach - Lorraine went to work in her Brooklyn-based studio cutting and transforming sheets of paper into 3-dimensional landscapes. Her attention to detail and whimsical product styling evokes a sense of play and reminds us to pay attention to the details and enjoy these hazy days. I chatted with Lorraine about her work and lessons she's learned along the way as an artist in New York City.

Tell us a little about what you do. What do you like about your work?

I like to say that I’m a paper illustrator. I work as a textile/bedding designer where I get to work with a team of talented people and on the weekends and after work during the week, I work on my paper projects which is my own personal creative outlet. I’m constantly thinking about what I can do in my work and usually what I make is reflective of what I’m thinking about and what I think will look really cute as a miniature! I really enjoy using paper as a medium and I’ve been cutting paper for about 8 years before I experimented with using paper 3-dimensionally. I really enjoy telling stories through my visual language.

Tell us more about your design process.

I usually start with an idea. I keep a list on my phone of any ideas I have and the list is always growing. Then I start cutting! I don’t like to overthink an idea because I still want the process to be enjoyable and I want to learn as I go through. Once I’m done with the different “props”, I’ll arrange them together and figure out what the best way to photograph is. Then I take a photo and the last step would be to edit the images to reflect the story I want to tell.

What design in your own work are you incredibly satisfied with/proud of?

I’m always happy with the newest thing I make. Once a project is done, I look forward to starting the next and seeing what happens through the process!

What has been the biggest challenge working in your industry? 

Probably the biggest hurdle for me,  after moving to New York was creating your own community of creatives. It’s difficult to work in the creative industry and having that support from friends who are doing the same thing or something similar helps tremendously.

If you weren’t at your current job, where would you be? 

If I wasn’t working as a textile/bedding designer, I would still be in my studio working on paper projects!

You have a blog called #ffffff walls. What was the impetus or inspiration for the blog?

I created the blog with Jonathan Chapline, who I also went to school with. The idea started after moving to New York and missing that sense of community that we had in school. We were going on these studio visits where we were having these amazing dialogues about art and what it’s like to work as an artist in New York, ESPECIALLY with a limited amount of space! We felt that the work that these artists were creating deserved to be shared and we created the blog as a platform to document this particular moment in which the artist is creating their work.


What’s your favorite artist feature to date?

My favorite studio visit is with Sterling Wells in his Red Hook studio space. His studio visit was one of the first ones we did when we started the blog and it just captures his energy. After working in watercolors and creating landscape paintings, he ventured into sculpture. Sterling showed us his in progress water sculpture in which he proceeded to take out a hose and just douse his studio with water with no care to everything in his small studio space.


Wow, that's ballsy. Now, I want to ask you some rapid fire questions that speak to who you are and what you are learning. Go back one year, what is the best thing you learned last year?

Exploring with paper 3-dimensionally and learning the importance of a good photograph.


What is the best thing you have learned this year? Using Instagram as a way to tell a story and showcase my work.


What is the best habit you have going for you right now? I have a pretty good work habit once I get to my studio. I just need that extra push to get there!

What is your biggest challenge right now? My biggest challenge is having the right work/life balance. I love to work and be productive but I also need to figure out when to take a break!


Name three creatives, artists or style mavens that inspire you?

  1. Matisse

  2. Iris Apfel

  3. Maira Kalman

Now to some fun ones. What's on your playlist now? I don’t have a specific playlist but I do love listening to Com Truise on Pandora when I’m working in studio. Also, Blood Orange and Rolling Stone.


What books/podcasts/TV shows are you loving right now?

1. Book: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

2. Podcast: This American Life especially the ‘Stuck in the Middle’ episode with the hold music.

3. TV/Movie: Frasier and Ex Machina


Most used app on your phone? Instagram! I’m a visual person and I love using the explore feature to find inspiring people doing cool and creative things.


What recipe can you not get enough of? I don’t ever get tired of avocado toast!


Next place you want to travel? There are so many places but India has definitely been on my list for a really long time.


What is something  silly that makes you laugh uncontrollably? Cat videos


What makes your heart happy? Definitely food.


Best advice someone has given you or you have given someone…. It’s not someone I know personally (though I’d love to meet him!) but this quote by Ira Glass has always resonated with me.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” -Ira Glass


I have to ask - do you have a favorite Kicheko design? There’s so many to choose from but I think my favorite would have to be the original Parlay Cords. I love that there’s so many combinations to coordinate back to your outfit.

Thanks to Lorraine for taking the time and working with us on this super creative collaboration! We love what you do and especially enjoy collaborating with artists to make something together. Please check out her work and her studio visit blog #ffffff walls - it's full of great conversation and inspiration.


Introducing the Kicheko Woman: Lissy Tropea

After a weekend full of fireworks and patriotic musings, I am back at it in the studio. This week, I am excited to share our chat with studio-mate, baker & business owner behind Pies & Petals, as well as our illustrious lookbook model - Lissy Tropea. With a focus beyond her years, Lissy brings intelligence, warmth, artistry, and a love for baked goodness to her surroundings. Her diverse interests range from writing poetry to writing code, playing ukulele to listening to cassette tapes, spending time with her family to growing her business. Friends, enjoy these next few minutes getting to know Lissy. 

You know the drill. Let's start with rapid fire. Who is on your playlist? TennisFránçois & The Atlas MountainsAlvvays

What are you reading right now? Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

What are you watching right now? The Netflix series, Chef’s Table. The second episode had me in tears and up to 4am writing about my love for food… So I’d say that’s up there. And Daredevil, which is also on Netflix. It’s just so crazy + good.

Most used app on your phone? Instagram!

What recipe can you not get enough of? I feel like I should give you one of my pie recipes, but my weak spot right now is Smitten Kitchen’s Double Chocolate Banana Bread. Mmmm.

Do you have a favorite Kicheko piece? I am in love with the quartz necklaces, and the blush sterling piece. Everything is so beautiful.

Next place you want to travel? Realistically, a small beach town with sandy roads and not very many people. Possibly, Vermont! However, dreamily, it would be France.

Name a style maven that you look up to. I'm not sure if you’d label her a "style maven" but I really enjoy Beth Kirby’s feed on Instagram (@localmilk). It's full of clean, bright images with lots of kitchen styling… I like her aprons. Does that count? :)

If you weren't at your current job, you would be...building a kitchen (made out of walls of windows + marble countertops) in the country.

Tell us a little about what you do. What do you like about it? Why do you do it?

I am a Junior Developer at Bittersweet Creative Group and I own a small business called Pies + Petals. With the hopes of someday selling out of a mobile storefront, Pies + Petals currently operates in Centreville, Virginia and delivers to the Northern VA and DC Metro area. I bake pies and my mom, Mary Jane of LéRoy French Flowers, crafts seasonal bouquets to accompany each order. We cater to a variety of events + weddings, and enjoy receiving custom orders. I love the excitement my customers exude throughout the process, from ordering to receiving. It is really enjoyable to witness simple happiness.

However, that’s not my only reasoning for doing it. My original intent with Pies + Petals is to create opportunity for passion, in my own life, in my friends’ lives, and in the lives of others. I’ve already seen this idea taking form, but there is much more to be done. Baking is proven to be therapeutic. In building something from start to finish your mind is allowed to refocus on the physical process in front of you - causing a healthy distraction from anxiety, past experience, and present circumstance, and immersing yourself in an activity that will produce a fruitful outcome. I would like to begin a baking therapy program that would be available to anyone who finds themselves struggling in their day to day life. The program would involve workshops, counseling, and potential employment opportunities. 

What is the best thing you learned last year? Change can be good. 

Best thing you have learned this year (so far)? Distance from your daily life improves your daily life. 

What is one unique advantage of being a woman right now? There is a large community of people devoting their time and efforts to improving life for women. In the past, I don’t think there has been as much focus on uplifting and supporting these issues.

What is one disadvantage of being a woman right now? Women are consistently battling the effects and influences of the media (including social media) and reconciling that with a moving standard of perfection. Also, balancing femininity and strength. 

What injustice breaks your heart? Sexual exploitation will always be the most gut wrenching injustice that I am aware of. I believe we were made for a wholesome existence, and taking away one’s right to his or her own body, whilst instilling fear and a false sense of impurity is life shattering. 

What companies or organizations do you love? 

Homeboy Industries, specifically Homeboy Bakery. They employ people who have been incarcerated, most of whom have been involved in gang activity in the past. These aren’t just jobs running the cash register or cleaning, but each baker is trained in one of three specific areas: cake + pastry, laminated dough, and bread + rolls. This is a perfect example of a shot at a new life with new skills and community rehabilitation.

The Gray Haven is based out of Richmond, VA, and is a a non-profit working with those who have been exposed to human trafficking. I love this organization because they not only provide a program centered on restoration, but they also perform case management, crisis response, and court advocacy tailored specifically to the needs of the victim. The Gray Haven works with local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as with service providers, to do direct crisis intervention and assessment with potential victims of human trafficking. Their approach to reforming the way the law handles these situations is unique and empowering. 

What is one misconception about yourself that you would like to clear up? I’m not an early morning person. People assume that since I am a baker that I am up at the crack of dawn. Unfortunately, that is very very wrong :). I do the majority of my baking late into the evening. Someday I’d love to get that whole blissful sunrise schedule going, but for now I’ll stick with drinking an ample amount of coffee at 10am. 

What is your biggest challenge right now? Balance.

What makes your heart happy? Gardens, My mom + dad, Road trips. 

What is something silly that makes you laugh uncontrollably? Various members of my family’s dance moves. So bad, but so good. 

Best advice someone has given you or you have given someone…Tomorrow is a new day.

Photos by Erica Baker.

Introducing the Kicheko Woman: Ally Tseng

This week, we're featuring our west coast model and friend, Ally Tseng. Bright, generous, funny and hard-working, Ally embodies the Kicheko woman and our chat will give you a glimpse of her personality, vision, compassion and sense of humor. With a recent career opportunity moving her across the country, Ally now lives in Los Angeles and works as Senior Marketing Manager for DreamWorks Animation, the studio responsible for gems like How To Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Puss in Boots and Madagascar. We hope you enjoy getting to know Ally! 

Let's start with some fun rapid fire. What's on your playlist?

I’ve been listening to a ton of throwback artists lately! I love anything 90’s hip hop/R&B but recently I went to a Taking Back Sunday concert and I’ve spiraled back to my teenage angst/emo-loving phase! Dashboard Confessional all the way!

What books/podcasts/TV shows are you loving right now?

I’m obsessed with Scandal (#TEAMFITZ ALL THE WAY), but now that the season is over, I need a new show!  I just got rid of cable so I have been binge watching all the shows on Netflix (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of my favs ).

Most used app on your phone? YELP (duh!)

What recipe can you not get enough of? 

Anything with cauliflower .. oh! And avocado toast.




Next place you want to travel?

I love the idea of traveling abroad, but there are so many options and I get overwhelmed thinking about it! This year I’ve made a goal for myself to travel to 3 US cities- Austin, Portland, & Sedona!  I just came back from Austin and loved it! Next...maybe Portland!

Name three of your style mavens that inspire your own aesthetic? 

Olivia Palmero has always been one of my favorite fashion icons. I also follow Jules Sarinana from Sincerely Jules and Aimee Song from Song of Style.

Which Kicheko design do you love in the new collection?

My favorite is the Kedge Hollow piece because it is a statement necklace but looks delicate at the same time.

If you weren’t at your current job, you would be...


Tell us a little about what you do. What do you like about it? Why do you do it?

I work at DreamWorks Animation doing Retail Marketing for their Consumer Products division.  I love what I do because I get to work on fun entertainment properties and my job allows me to be super creative. I love it here at DreamWorks (not only for the free food) but because the people are so great and very supportive.

What is the best thing you learned last year?

One of the major reasons why we fear change is because of the discomfort and anxiety you feel during that transitional phase but once you realize that that phase is only temporary, change doesn’t seem that scary. 

Best thing you have learned so far this year? 

Never treat someone like a priority when that someone treats you like you’re an option.

What is one unique advantage of being a woman right now? 

We have a more diverse range of shoe options ;)

What is one disadvantage of being a woman right now? 

The lines to the woman’s bathroom when you go out!

What injustice breaks your heart?

The non-support of same sex marriage.  Everyone is human and should have the right to love and marry whomever they chose.


What is one misconception about yourself that you would like to clear up?

Just because I am Asian doesn’t mean I am good at math!  

What is your biggest challenge right now?

Learning how to balance both work and life has always been a huge challenge for me... I’m still working through it.

What makes your heart happy? 

The thought of my family and friends back east.

What is something silly that makes you laugh uncontrollably?

Anything that thefatjewish posts on Instagram.

Best advice someone has given you or you have given someone….

Your career is your responsibility, not anyone else’s.


Introducing the Kicheko Woman: Tiffany Thompson

Thank you for your continued views and feedback about the lookbook. We're continuing to introduce each of the women that embody the "Kicheko Woman" for our Issue No. 2 Lookbook. Tiffany Thompson is the brilliant mind and voice behind Danae, an independent artist based in Nashville, TN. Her sound blends acoustic, pop and EDM with a soulful voice. You can find her music on Danae or live as she tours Germany for the month of June.  Friends, we hope you enjoy getting to know Danae!

Let's start with some fun rapid fire. What's on your playlist now?

Ellie Goulding, Broods, Myself ;)

What podcast are you loving right now?

All Songs Considered 

Most used apps on your phone?

Evernote and Waves 

What recipe can you not get enough of? 

Kale, buffalo chicken, blue cheese dressing 

Which Kicheko designs do you love in the new collection?

Rainbow Aura Crystal Quartz

Name three of your style mavens that inspire your own aesthetic? 

Kate Winslet, Sarah Bayot, West Elm 

If you weren’t at your current job, you would be...

Working at a startup

Next place you want to travel?


Tell us a little about what you do. What do you like about it? Why do you do it? 

I’m a singer/songwriter, recording artist, connector and entrepreneur at heart. Most days are a mix of songwriting, meetings, recording and logistics. Maybe a photo session with smoke bombs on the other days. :) I do it because it’s the work I love most and it’s where my gifting is. I love meeting new people, seeing faces light up with the power of melody and traveling from city to city giving people momentum and joy through song. I love getting the chance to write something that connect with another person on the heart level. 

What is your biggest challenge right now?

Making a living with my music … and more than that making songs that I love and that others will love 

What is one misconception about yourself that you would like to clear up? 

I’m very positive, but I’m not naive.  Just because I choose to walk into the unknown doesn’t that there aren't monsters out there.

What makes your heart happy? 

Good meals with good friends on a beautiful night over great conversation. 

What is something silly that makes you laugh uncontrollably?

Anything after 11 pm when I am tired. I’ll laugh at pretty much anything. ;) 

What's the best thing you learned last year?

You never grow without risking. And you often fail when you risk. So go ahead and risk, fail and learn … it’s the best. 

What's the best thing you have learned so far in 2015?

As much as I wish I wanted to do something else with my life … I love music and am willing to sacrifice my time, finances and self to make it happen. 

What is one unique advantage of being a woman right now? 

There is a freedom to create and manage your own career and a respect for single women passionate about their creative spaces.

What is one disadvantage of being a woman right now? 

If you enjoy doing domestic things like cooking, cleaning, raising kids, it can be seen of as second rate… rather than a truly significant roll in society. 

What injustice breaks your heart?

When someone feels like they cannot move forward because voices around them have spoken death to them instead of life. 

What companies or organizations do you love? Why?

Kicheko Goods, because the excellence of the product matches the depth of the vision. 

Startup Runner, because they pivot and change based on need – with a degree of risk, failure and learning I’ve rarely seen in a company. 

Best advice someone has given you or you have given someone….

Without love, it all means nothing

Not everything you invest in returns financially. Sometimes the non-monetary returns are even more important. 

Lastly, you know why I smile? Cause it’s worth it. (inspired by Marcel the Shell:) 

Learn more about Danae at

Posted on June 16, 2015 and filed under Maven Style, Editorials.