Category Archives: Women Who Inspire

A Really Good Reason to Buy a Coat

It’s March 5th today. And, for many of us, it’s still cold outside. Snowing, in fact. Which makes it a perfect time to highlight a wonderful charitable organization called Operation Warm (www.operationwarm.org) — a non-profit that has provided brand-new coats to nearly 2 million children in poverty since 2002.

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We just spoke with Operation Warm’s lovely and dynamic Program Director, Renee Koerner. Renee is only 26 years old (which means she was born in or around…oh my goodness…1989?!) and she is incredibly articulate and passionate. We are proud to call her a HEUCY Gal and even prouder of her “boss” and the program’s founder, philanthropist and entrepreneur Richard Stanford, for giving Renee the autonomy and support she needs to help the organization grow. Many of us didn’t have this type of “supervisor” when we were toiling in the trenches after college.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Some background for you.

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In 2012, Renee joined Operation Warm and worked with a Washington, D.C. Firefighter to bring the entire International Association of Fire Fighters on board, to raise money across the U.S. for new coats for kids in poverty. Firefighters – in addition to being kind-hearted, strong, capable, selfless and, in many cases, very cute (we’ve all seen “Backdraft”…which may have been released before Renee’s birthday, but I digress) – see a lot of things within their communities that other people don’t. Such as, freezing kids coming into the firehouse to keep warm. This one firefighter had organized a lot of coat drives and ended up discarding about half of the coats received because they weren’t wearable. Which led to the idea to fundraise for new coats, on a national level.

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One more reason why we love this organization? Renee and Sanford have been the driving force behind moving Operation Warm’s production back to the United States. They provided 300,000 coats to impoverished children in the U.S. last year, and 60,000 of these were made in the USA. Renee hopes to increase this number every year.

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And Renee is launching another brilliant initiative this year: Buy Warm, Give Warm. If you buy an Operation Warm coat for a child in your life, then a new coat will be donated to a child in need. Renee hopes to produce womens’ coats at some point, which we think is fabulous. We’d love to see an Operation Warm coat on top of a HEUCY dress or jumpsuit. I loathe being cold, but would be happy to put on a coat if I knew it was helping people who can’t afford to buy their own.

Click here if you’d like to get involved in Operation Warm’s mission.

And thank you, Renee, for inspiring us to give.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Oscars Inspiration…and Validation

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As we develop our next collection, we found last night’s bevy of Oscar beauties very inspiring.  This would include Neil Patrick Harris (nee Doogie Howser), who seems to only improve with age.  Not sure if he’s doing the paleo diet, but we should research. (We also loved Patricia Arquette’s speech on equal pay for women, natch).

But I digress.  We picked some of our favorite looks from last night and wanted to share them with you.  Feel free to comment.  Many of us can’t afford the Chopard jewels and the hand-sewn couture gowns…but fortunately, a lot of the “trends” from last night do translate to everyday dressing.  Specifically, in terms of qualities we always consider here at HEUCY when designing new garments.  Such as:

1. Showing a little leg.  I think the average price of one of these gowns is in the five figures.  HEUCY’s Date Night dress with revealing side zipper is under $200, and because it’s jersey, you can wear it on the plane to the 2016 Oscars event and it won’t wrinkle.  A true bargain, if you ask me.

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2. Collarbones.  This may be the most flattering part of a woman’s body, and we like to show it off in a lot of our styles.  Lupita’s (yes, in our dreams she’s in a HEUCY dress and we’re on a first name basis) take on showing off her decolletage is super chic.

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3. Shoulders.  Another area where you can’t really gain weight.  We thought Reese’s dress was grown up but young at the same time, which is a “look” we always try to go with in HEUCY’s designs.

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4. As Many Shades of Grey (or Gray) As You Want.  Laura Dern and Naomi Watts’ gorgeous dresses reminded us why we chose to produce the Spring ’15 Date Night and jumpsuit in a grey bamboo microstripe.  50 stripes of grey is good for any girl, since this color is universally flattering and a bit more uplifting than black.  (Even though we’re huge proponents of black, just not all of the time).

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5. Black.  Oh, wait, did we just mention we don’t wear black all of the time?  It’s sort of an 80/20 mix these days.

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Cate Blanchett…doesn’t f’ around.  The next time we throw on the HEUCY Core collection, we’re pairing it with turquoise.  Maybe she’ll loan that necklace to us!

Until then…here’s a link to the full list of last night’s winners courtesy of ET Online. http://www.etonline.com/awards/oscars/160085_oscars_2015_full_winners_list/

We fell asleep somewhere between sound mixing and best picture.  Dreaming of the next collection, so we can bring a little practical glamour to your lives.  Stay tuned!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

A Recipe for Following Your Passion…And Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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Today we’re profiling HEUCY Gal Ali Cayne, the founder of Haven’s Kitchen — an amazing cooking school, food shop and event space in New York City.  (Which, coincidentally has some seriously decadent Valentine’s Day gifts including CHOCOLATE GANACHE DULCE DE LECHE CAKE FOR TWO and tons of other delicious items and classes available online if you still need to get something for your sweetie, to go along with your HEUCY Date Night dress.  Just sayin’…)

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Anyhoo, back to Ali.  She founded Haven’s Kitchen while she was in the midst of a major life change. She had just started to get her Master’s in Food Studies, and was moving downtown with her five kids. She had separated from her husband, whom she married when she was 25, and was starting a completely new chapter in her life. Ali was bravely moving out of the comfort zone of a very familiar existence, into unmarked territory.

Her idea for Haven’s came about organically. Ali always loved to cook, and was often teaching cooking classes to friends and friends of friends who loved her food. Ali thought, why not make this into a business? The premise was to teach cooking that comes from intuition, while using fresh, sustainable and delicious ingredients.

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Coincidentally, I was one of the first people to “beta test” Haven’s Kitchen, at a private cooking class a few years ago. It was pretty awesome. We made chicken pot pie, from scratch, and drank copious amounts of red wine while churning béchamel sauce and rolling out pie crusts. I felt like I was in the middle of a Nancy Meyers film (if you’ve been to Haven’s, you’ll know what I’m talking about). We laughed a lot, and learned that chicken pot pie could never, ever be called “low fat.” But the bigger picture was, who cares? It was freezing outside, we were learning from a literal “top chef” (who has since moved to Nashville to open her own restaurant) and we were having so much fun. Not surprisingly, Haven’s has slowly, but surely, taken off since then as New Yorkers’ favorite “place to reconnect with food, our community, and each other.”

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We’ve asked Ali to share some of her seasonal “non-recipes” with us, which are perfect for the HEUCY Gal on the go. Those will come soon. In the meantime, Ali has some priceless advice for anyone who is thinking about starting a new career, or choosing a new path in life…or doing something completely new and unusual on the side.

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#1: Start learning the thing that you find interesting.

Ali has always loved good food, and cooking, so she decided to get a Masters in Food Studies. This led to a major “aha” moment, when Ali was tasked with finding an internship as part of her course curriculum. Not being a “millennial,” and having five kids at home, Ali thought it would be quite difficult to find an employer who would hire a thirty-something intern. But she swallowed her pride and reached out to the woman who was running the Education Station at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. The woman met with Ali, and immediately handed her the keys to the Education van when she found out Ali had five kids. She said, “If you are currently parenting five children, then you can clearly handle this job.” That internship was a turning point for Ali, because many of the people on her tour would correspond with her afterward for thoughts and advice. It helped give her the confidence to open Haven’s Kitchen.

#2: Don’t separate who you are and who you want to be. Figure out who you want to be and go for it.  

Ali had been a wife and mother for almost 15 years, but didn’t start Haven’s until she was in her late thirties. She also pointed out that Edith Wharton didn’t write her first book until she was 40, and Julia Child didn’t become “Julia Child” until she was 40. We have our own timelines, and there’s always enough time to pursue your passion.

 #3: Don’t be intimidated by the creative process.

It’s so easy to assume that some people are just born talented. This may be partly true…but success is also due, in large part, to hard work. Ask anyone who has published a novel. So if you want to write a book, or paint a picture…or pursue any type of creative endeavor, don’t assume that you aren’t talented enough to do it. There’s a lot of elbow grease and patience involved.  And the first step (not to sound cliche, or anything) is to start your project.

A lot of this is easier said than done, especially for those of us with millions of balls and responsibilities in the air. But it’s incredibly inspiring to see a HEUCY Gal like Ali, who has managed to recreate her life and successfully do something every day that she really loves.

Oh, and did we mention that Ali is currently dating a younger French man?  Follow your dreams, gals.

xx,

The HEUCY TEam

Giving Tuesday — Highlighting a Woman Who Gives

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Today is Giving Tuesday — a nice break from Black Friday, Cyber Monday…and one we just heard of, Gray Thursday.  Also known as Thanksgiving.

Anyhoo, we started researching women who give and wanted to highlight Melinda Gates.  She and her husband (a dude named Bill) have given billions of dollars, countless hours of time and brain power, and invaluable strategic direction to tackle some of the world’s biggest health and developmental issues.  This woman is a force and our dream would be to get her in some HEUCY.

Anyhoo, we came across a TED Talk, from March of this year, where Bill and Melinda narrate (with photos) some of the journeys they’ve taken to Africa and other countries to help people who are seriously in need.  The larger point is: this is why we give.

Really inspiring, especially for those of us who can’t give as much as the Gates but who want (and need) to know about life-threatening challenges kids and adults throughout the world are facing.

Take a look when you have time.  The video is just 25 minutes, a realistic length for a HEUCY gal on the go…or on the subway…or getting a quick mani on the way home 🙂

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Kicking Off A Week of Giving Thanks…

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We’re thankful for so much here at HEUCY.  Our families, friends, HEUCY Gals and Dudes like you all, a successful launch…and — now, more than ever — we are really thankful for partners like our factory owner Susan, without whom we wouldn’t be able to provide jumpsuits and dresses for waiting customers!

This week, in addition to rounding out #Movember, we’re going to highlight specific people and places and things that we’re thankful to have in our lives.  (Spoiler alert: this includes food delivery).  So for starters, here’s to Susan.  She’s a mom, a business owner and a pretty cool chick who can rock the #AlterEgo jumpsuit like the best of them.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

French. Translated.

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At HEUCY, we are crushing on French women in general.  They defy our 21st century puritanical “wisdom” — dairy, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and cigarettes seem to make these women look better than us.  While we drink our green juices and pound out e-mails and cross off to-do lists, our counterparts in Paris are eating steak frites and having boozy lunches.  (Our biggest girl crush now is Mimi Thorisson, whose blog Manger is a must-read for any HEUCY Gal.  She cooks, parents, works, writes, grows wine…and clearly enjoys eating.  Love her.)

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I know this isn’t news to anyone.  Countless books and articles have been written on the topic.  So why am I writing about it now?  Well, HEUCY thinks the most inspiring thing about French ladies is their ability to look great — nay, amazing — at all times of the day.  Their casual, “day” dressing looks chic and effortless.  You don’t see a lot of workout gear on the Champs Elysees.  And French women prove that it’s possible to keep a few, well-made pieces — a uniform — in the closet, and use your personal style to make your clothes, and YOU, look great.  HEUCY wants to bring this French ethos to American ladies who are craving the same French look…via thoughtful, American-made garments.  Because, guess what?  American women are pretty awesome too.  Yes, that would be you 🙂

Here’s our across-the-pond translation of the HEUCY #ProblemSolver going from day-to-night…this is a dress that screams “Audrey Tatou cute meets Marion Cotillard cool meets the reality of modern woman’s crazy life.”  And in the spirit of classic, timeless dressing, all of the accessories are “HEUCY’s own” — including the martini fixins for a night out on the town and our fave @wilburandgussie bag.

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Enjoy the week.  And the weeknights!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

HEUCY Gals Galore!

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Yesterday was a #HEUCYGal extravaganza!  We photographed some of our favorite ladies in their own HEUCY…and asked them to style it their way.  Nicola wore Chanel booties, Andy wore Manolos…and Susan, our factory owner, wore some super-cool sneakers with her #AlterEgo jumpsuit.  Susan also brought another accessory — her two daughters — to the shoot!

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These HEUCY Gals brought some other important items — their personalities and a sense of humor — to the shoot, which made yesterday inspiring in so many ways.  We had some champagne and chatted about all of the different, interesting things everyone is doing.  Cards were exchanged.  Nicola recently launched a men’s styling business called Harrison Style, and she’s writing for “Downtown” magazine on the side.  Vanessa’s photography business is taking off, and we shot in her new studio space.  Andy is a super-agent working on insanely cool projects and the Snyder sisters continue to quickly make their way up the ladder at Google.  Jerry, our makeup artist, was joking that his 28th birthday was a few days earlier…and when I thought about it, I realized that I’m reaching 40 soon but the really interesting journey is just getting started.  (Apologies if this sounds cheesy…but it comes from the heart).

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Here at HEUCY, we’ve been incredibly encouraged and excited by the support our collection has gotten.  And our success would not be possible without women like these HEUCY Gals.  Thank you, Erika, Kate, Nicola, Andy and Susan for letting us photograph you!  And for making HEUCY yours…because our concept is built around enabling women like you — women with full, crazy, interesting, busy lives — to do what you do, without having to worry about the little things.  Who has time for that, anyway?

Have a great weekend!

xx,

The HEUCY Team