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FORT LAUDERDALE
USA

Journal

Our 2017 One Little Word

Xio Kat

We normally share our  business goals or plans early in the year but this year we decided to wait a bit before sharing them on the blog. We wanted to allow a little time to pass in order to soak them in and make sure they felt right, not to mention, these first two months have flown by! The last few years we’ve been using the concept of One Little Word instead of making a list of resolutions. I was introduced to this through the scrapbooking community, which you can read more about this here, but basically you choose a word to guide you throughout the year. Kind of like an intention. Personally, we have come to prefer this, as a word is easier to remember then the long list written up on New Years Day. It takes time and reflection to come up with a word that can define your year, but we have found that often, if you pay attention, your word will come to you. We wanted to share our words with you, why we chose them and how they are guiding our goals personally and with Xiokat.

Xio’s Word : Connect

Last year my word was Be, as in being. I chose that word to remind me to be in the moment. I was navigating a whole new world with motherhood, plus going back to work, and I needed to focus on taking on each day one at a time. I was exhausted but inspired by this new role and wanted to remember the small things, put aside all the to dos and enjoy being. I didn't always accomplish this idealistic state, but having my word was important when I felt overwhelmed and like nothing I set out to do was getting done. Everyone told me that the first months go by fast, which they did and I am glad I had this constant reminder to pause and take notice. Towards the fall, I began to feel the fog lifting and I suddenly had the desire to connect (or reconnect) in many parts of my life. Connect to my creativity, my body, my faith, my community and basically to reconnect to my core, Authentic Self. Connection is so important, especially as a creative person. Making space to create, practicing yoga and meditation, and getting more involved in the maker community are some of the ways my word has been guiding me to act. It has also led me to realize there are things in my life I may not connect with anymore, which means letting go of these things and opportunities that do not align with what I want and need in the present moment. With Xiokat, I am looking to can connect with our product by making conscious choices in the materials we use and the designs we create. We have also joined an amazing community of makers in West Palm Beach (check out Elizabeth Avenue Station!). Sharing a space and supporting each other's projects has been so inspiring! 

Kat’s One Little Word : Balance

The last couple of months have been a roller coaster ride. I had been feeling overextended and wasn't starting or finishing anything I was set out to do. When I did complete something, I wasn't happy with it. It was just to be done. I couldn’t  focus on one thing, without my mind going to the next item I needed to complete. I am sure everyone goes through this at some point and I did my best to keep going as I could. Being in constant work mode felt normal and I was focused on pushing Xiokat forward while starting a new position at my day job. My personal life slowed down and while I tried to keep up with friends and family and still have time for myself, it was not enough. Then, as tends to happen, my body gave me a signal. My health took a turn and put a whole new spin on my already full plate, making me realize I needed to slow down. People say that in life you need balance. Too much or too little of anything is never good. I have always agreed but didn’t realize until now how important it is to your health, mind, body and soul. Focusing on this word is reminding me to make the changes to my lifestyle I need in order to create more balance in my life.

We hope to share our progress in how we are bringing connection and balance into our lives. We're also excited to start sharing different perspectives on the blog and hope to bring the stories of other makers and creatives to you. Its been something we've been wanting to do for over a year now and we are getting closer to making it happen. At times, running a business, creating for it and for the love of it, plus having a full time job and keeping up with your household may seem like there is never enough time. But we are choosing to not focus on what we're not getting done and do what we can, as little as it may be. Hope you are inspired to do the same. 

Photos // Andrea Tello (Yaah Productions)

Xio is wearing the Martina Dress in Navy and Katty is wearing a new Tunic top coming to the shop this summer.

Follow us on instagram for shop updates. 

Postcards : Mexico City

Xio Kat

I took a last minute trip to Mexico City this past weekend and this city never ceases to amaze me. Though Mexico may be known to be a dangerous place to visit right now, I saw many tourists - Americans, Europeans, South Americans - people from all over the world walking on the streets. As in any foreign city, you should always be aware of your surroundings, but this should not stop you from visiting this beautiful city. Its people, the colors, the architecture, the music - every little corner is full of life and worth discovering! 

It was a short four day trip, but we got to see a little more then the last time I was here. My last visit was earlier this year, but I was ready to be back. For starters, the food. I was so excited to come back just for their delicious cuisine. YUMMY!!!  I looked forward to waking up to chilaquiles every morning. Everything has so much flavor and though I normally don't eat spicy foods, I had to try it all. Keep in mind that when they say it's not spicy, it will still have a strong kick!

I always recommend the Mercado Roma to anyone visiting Mexico City. It's a delicious gourmet market filled with all types of food, drinks, gifts, books and more. Go with an empty stomach since you will want to try everything! In the center there are long communal tables for people to sit, eat and mingle. There is also a beautiful plant filled wall that gives a fresh feel to space.  

Xochimilco is a little town about an hour away from Mexico City but can feel like more since there is always traffic. Here you will find colorful gondola-like rides called Trajineras that take you down the canals for about an hour or so. There may be some tourists but mostly you will find the locals enjoying a nice picnic and spending time with friends and family. These rides are so much fun! There are also smaller boats that ride around selling food, drinks, speakers, and other miscellaneous items. The best part are the Trajineras filled with mariachis that come by and serenade you, dance with you, sing and join in your party. This time of the year is pretty cold and gloomy so it wasn't as packed as it was last time I was there, which was a different experience. It can turn into a game of bumper boats where you have to keep yourself steady and make sure your drink doesn't spill over! 

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The Corredor Salamanca is another great gourmet market to visit. Downstairs is full of delicious mini restaurants to choose from and upstairs is the bar with music, a lounge area and ping pong tables. It's a great place to have dinner and drinks with friends. We had such a good time and there is still so much more to see and discover. I am already looking forward to my next visit!

On fabric sourcing and starting small

Xio Kat

 

We've spent the past few months researching and sourcing fabrics for our new designs. It has come with its fair share of struggles and we are learning so much along the way. It has also brought up a lot of questions that has us reflecting on our brand, our products and really, our lifestyle. Needless to say, it has been a slow journey but an integral part of the process.

Even though our brand has been evolving for years, we have grown our apparel collection slowly. Our first pattern, the Martina dress, was designed and sampled a year and half before we had a few quantities to sell. We struggled with finding the fabric we wanted at the price point we needed, since we could not order the minimums required by most fabric companies. After many trips to several fabric shops in Miami, we found a local, family run fabric store in Fort Lauderdale. We loved the convenience of the location and the idea of supporting a local, family run business. Our mom had bought fabric from them for years and pointed us to them. 

Fabric shopping can be difficult. We were looking for natural fabrics, and while there were a lot of linens, we couldn't find the weight or colors we wanted in their inventory. Ordering fabric through the store was again, a commitment to meet the minimums. We came across a polyester in a color we liked and the price point we needed. We were really hesitant to go with this fabric, as it went against our intention to use natural or eco friendly fabrics. They told us these were discontinued fabrics, which made us hesitate even more. What would we do if we needed more to make the quantities? Eventually, we went with it since it was at the right price point and we just wanted to start. 

Now as we have done more research on fabrics,  we've found more sources for eco friendly fabrics and natural fibers. We've come across a few companies that require smaller minimums for ordering. This is exciting and I wonder if it means that there is more awareness on the impact of fabric making process, as well as more of a market for independent designers. We still buy a portion from our local store, linens and fabrics considered deadstock, a term we recently learned. It helps that our collection is currently small, and adds a more personal touch to the process of making clothes. This may change in the future, but for now, it works for us.

A space of our own....

Xio Kat

Its so hard to believe we are already in August. Our last post was from before Christmas, and while we didn’t intend to take a long break from the blog, it was much needed. Besides the arrival of Roo to our family, our life got pretty busy with the transition and with each of us working full time jobs. We kept working on our clothing, adding the Elsa top to the shop a few months ago, plus a few collaborations here and there. We participated in pop up shows at Urban Outfitters and local markets. We worked on being more active on Instagram, our favorite form of social media. And while we tried to start blogging each month, we struggled with whether or not we should even continue having this space. 

When we think of the original blogs (or when we discovered them in 2006), we realize what we loved the most about them was getting a peek into someone's world, whether it be their home or workspace or creative process. We loved the simple diary style of the writing and the real, unstyled photos. While there is nothing wrong with styled posts, we miss the simplicity and non scheduled form of journaling, no pressure to keep up, just sharing when needed or desired. So we began to rethink how we approached this space. We like the idea that this can be a place where we can share our journey of building a sustainable clothing brand, slowly and on our own terms. We want to document our story, as we live it, as much for ourselves as for our customers, friends and anyone starting their own creative business. We want to have a space for conversation, where we can share our struggles and achievements, what we are learning and what we are trying to figure out. Its also nice to have something to look back on ourselves to see how far we have come. 

So we are going to give this another shot. While we don't plan on keeping a schedule, it still felt important to have a guide of sorts in order to create the routine of posting somewhat consistently. When we found ourselves wondering what type of content to share, I happen to look at the postcard on my wall with our mission statement. As we read through those words we wrote 2+ years ago, we realized that the answer lied within those lines. 

We believe in simple living and finding beauty in the everyday.

We are inspired by the places we go and the people we meet. 

We seek unique products and celebrate the creative spirit of independent makers.

We create quality, one of making pieces, with our own hands, in our South Florida based studio. 

And we still feel the same way. We hope to share more of our creative process and journey as well as introduce you to the makers, designers and artists we that we have met along the way. We plan to share more of our travels, near and far. And basically any thoughts, ideas and inspiration that we may feel we'd like to share with you. We hope you find a little something of value in this space.

A Fresh Look!

Xio Kat

Our website has a fresh new look! We decided to switch from Virb & Big Cartel to Squarespace and we are loving the new platform. Virb became limited and was not being updated regularly, and while we liked Big Cartel, we really needed an integrated system. There are still a few things that need updating and fixing, but we are happy with the cleaner and more cohesive look. Take a look, visit our studio journal, peruse the site and let us know what you think! We welcome all feedback (good and bad) as it will help us better develop the site for you!

Events / LOCAL LOOKS

Xio Kat

On Wednesday November 18th we will be participating in LOCAL LOOKS, a fashion meetup, at Social House in Lake Worth from 6-9p. Hosted by Floridian Social, who also hosted the Maker Meet we took part in earlier this year. Stop by and meet local fashion designers and boutique owners, and get an early start on your holiday shopping! We will have the first pieces of the Xiokat Collection One, which we are really excited about! The Social House is a cool spot and has a cafe/bar on the side, perfect to grab a drink and walk around. Hope to see you there!

CURRENTLY / October

Xio Kat

This month's currently is a short one, mainly because our hands and hearts are pretty full. Ruby arrived on Sunday, weighing 6lbs 12oz. Mommy and baby are doing great. We're so excited with the new addition to our family and so in love! 

The Makers Apron

Xio Kat

Sharing these beautiful iPhone photos taken by Melanie Gabrielle of the Makers Apron, designed by Janderyn of Earth & Sugar, handcrafted by us. All of these talented artists and makers were photographed and filmed wearing the various apron options while working on their crafts - from flower styling to dress making to baking and more. The film and full set of photos will be on the website that will launch soon. We can't wait to see more!

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All images courtesy of Melanie Gabrielle Photography.

Video by PS Photography+Films