Here’s something really pretty to share with you today. I’ve mentioned Alison’s blog Heart of Gold a few times around these parts, as she’s often discovering gorgeous things or creating some beautiful recipe or fun DIY — and really, her photography and styling skills are kiiind of amazing. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a dinner and she shared some exciting news: she was going to launch a quarterly journal, featuring a lot of the same vibe and stunning imagery she was already creating for her blog, but just next level. And thus, we can all enjoy the fruits of her labor, Rose & Ivy. I kind of can’t believe the amount of work Alison did on her own to launch this journal — it’s pretty incredible!
The front of the journal has some fun market pages that look at the latest need-to-have goodies in fashion and beauty, but for me, the real eye candy begins on page 29 with all her original features, with a large focus on food, recipes, and entertaining. I’m especially loving the still life compositions she put together in this short feature inspired by autumn colors, these recipes for spiced/herbed fleur de sel, and of course, these at home beauty remedies. Are you blown away by Alison’s styling and photography skills yet?
To learn more about what inspired her to start this project — and of course, to help her get the word out about the launch — I recently did a little interview with her to give you a behind the scenes peek into Rose & Ivy. Trust me when I say, you’re going to want to check out her blog recs at the end of this (SO many new beautiful ones to discover). Take it away, Alison!
Q. In your own words as founder, what is Rose & Ivy?
A: Rose & Ivy is a quarterly journal to inspire you to live an elegant life and see beauty in all of its forms. It is for the woman that seeks the beautiful details in all areas of life from style, beauty, food, and travel. The name Rose & Ivy has significance too – rose for the femininity of a woman and the ivy for her ability to be wild and free.
Q. You’ve blogged on your own personal blog for a while now. What made you want to make the jump to this new medium?
A: I have always had a love and fascination for magazines and have been collecting fashion publications since high school! During college I was a beauty editorial intern at two different magazines here in New York and I knew that it was what I was destined to do. However, once I graduated from college, the economy thought otherwise and I had to explore different career options. A long story short my career twisted and turned in the beauty industry and I realized along the way (in too many unfulfilling jobs to count) that I had much more to offer than what was at hand. I began my blog Heart of Gold in 2011 as a side project where I could focus on the things that I was passionate about. I discovered that not only did I love fashion and beauty, but I also had a passion for food, styling and photography. I am a person that craves more and wants to reach higher and higher. Six months ago I asked myself how I could take my current site and my interests to the next level. I thought about a few different things like opening a bakery or floral styling, but realized I would be abandoning other things that fueled me like writing, fashion and beauty. Thus one sunny day on a pier in Brooklyn Bridge Park I had an ‘aha’ moment, start your own online journal where you can compile everything into one.
Q. What types of content can we expect to see in Rose & Ivy? What is the overall aesthetic and point of view?
A: You can expect to see content with a refined point of view where the smallest details matter. I want readers to see the world through a romanticized lens where the tiniest pieces of life can be beautiful. That being said there is a great interest in discovering beauty in its many forms whether it be in fashion, beauty, travel or food. While the Journal will be published every quarter, the Rose & Ivy blog will be updated daily with similar content centered around this aesthetic.
Q. You styled so many of these shoots yourself, and they’re beautiful! Where did you learn still life styling and photography? What are your influences when arranging and photographing your set ups?
A: First off, thank you very much, but I am still learning every time that I photograph or style something. I am self-taught in both photography and styling and learn through studying those that I admire the most like Irving Penn, Gentl + Hyers, Vanessa Rees, Katie Quinn Davies and Mónica Pinto. I have always had an appreciation and sensitivity for beautiful things especially light and color. Both are incredibly important when telling a story through a photograph. Majoring in art history in college granted me a vast knowledge of still-life paintings which has been a huge influence on my aesthetic.
Q. What’s your favorite feature in the premiere issue?
A: This is a hard question because so much love and work has been poured into each feature. I would say that the style feature ‘Lady in Waiting’ is one of my favorites since I am a dreamer at heart and have wanted to do something like this for forever. I was thrilled that I was able to bring a vision that I had for years to life. I also enjoyed collaborating with a different people, instead of just working by myself to bring my idea to life.
Q. There are so many online magazines and digital journals floating around these days. What makes Rose & Ivy different from these, and from the content typically delivered on food, entertaining and lifestyle blogs?
A: You are right, there are so many amazing digital magazines out there, but I found that the majority are dedicated to interiors, design and art with just inklings of food or fashion. The first issue is a very visual one, balanced with articles and is void of any advertising, the latter might change but the former will not. I believe that there is a large group of women out there that appreciate delicious food (making and eating it) as much as they do fashion and beauty. I want to inspire that woman. It is a one-stop shop for the season, but there will also be a daily blog that will live on the site to keep the content fresh.
Q. What are your favorite magazines, websites and blogs, and what about them inspires you?
A: We are living in a world where so much beauty exists on-line. I draw my inspiration from so many sources because I try to look and read as much as I possibly can in both print and on the internet. My list of favorite magazines can go on and on, but if I had to pick four it would be Vogue (Paris and American), Harper’s Bazaar, Donna Hay and Martha Stewart. As far as websites and blogs, I adore Mimi Thorrison’s Manger, who I feature in the journal, Gary Pepper, Shine by Three, Local Milk, Pratos e Travessas and Hortus Natural Cooking. I love how they all approach beauty – oftentimes it isn’t perfect and that is something that I find incredibly inspiring.