Full Moon Mix: My Senses Be Praised


image by Malick Sidibe

New Full Moon Mix here!  This one has been percolatin’ for a while since our big full moon last week, but I was on the road, so I just got the chance to publish it now.  I was on a road trip out in West Texas with my family– many, many hours in the car, in the desert, listening to tunes, discovering new stuff!  This one really spans the folk / funk spectrum but I like a little of bit of everything, anything that has a good beat, some soul, something to say.  As we begin a new season I’d like to wish ALL GOOD THINGS to ALL OF YOU… in the words of the Rolling Stones song “Heaven” (covered in this mix by Kasper Bjorke)….

“Senses be praised, senses be praised /// You’re my saving grace, saving grace /// Nothing will harm you, nothing will stand in your way ///  Nothing will stop you and nothing will stand in your way, no one will harm you, and no one will stand in your way /// No one will bar you and nothing will stand in your way …”

xoxo, Lauren


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Snapshot: Iceland

photo 3photo 2photo 1


Iceland never disappoints!  I was there last month for work for 3 days (!!!).  Not enough time for a hot springs soak, BUT I had LOTS of time on the road to take in the expansive emptiness- sculptural mountains, mossy, endless horizons, and clear, icy water.

East coasters! Remember, it’s only a 5 hour flight from New York. A relatively short trip to experience something so OTHER, something that feels so very FAR away.






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Snapshot: Venezia, Italia


Gondoliers gondolier-ing at Venetian rush hour

Oh Venice, you are a rare gem!  The strange green color of the lagoon, the fact that all cars and bicycles are replaced by boats and pedestrians, the delicious daily cicchetti and lo spritz.  If you can get away from all the tourists (even though you are one), Venice will take your breath away.  I was in Italy last month for work and spent four fast and furious days in Venezia, a floating and often flooded city.  About fifteen years ago, I was an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, so this trip was a real moment of nostalgia for me.  There is nothing like roaming around, endlessly walking the maze of the city.  Every crumbling corner is beautiful to look at and basically nothing has changed since I lived there over a decade ago.

This quick trip’s highlights were a night time walk to my favorite street, Fondamenta Misericordia (my old neighborhood), where you can find all the locals and young college students hanging out by the canal, eating and drinking, and listening to live jazz.

I also really enjoyed going to the Roberta di Camerino showroom, once the brand’s factory, housed behind a gorgeous wooden door on a hidden street. Roberta (whose real name was Giuliana) was a fashion designer ahead of her time, who’s signature was trompe l’oeil velvet handbags.  Her vintage pieces are now collector’s items, but the house has been revived and new collections are being produced.

My favorite meals were at Osteria alla Vedova and another spot where all the gondoliers used to eat (can’t find it online- Venice is full of secrets, ask a local) where I ate all the city’s specialties like fluffy risotti and squid ink pasta. It was delicious AND turned my lips purple. I think the best way to do Venice is just get lost and explore, and bring extra socks, because it floods often, especially on the full moon! So magical.


The facade of the 19th century Salviati Palazzo advertising glassworks


The Vision Quest Duffle making it’s Venetian debut on my friend Anna (I swear it’s the best travel bag), and working HARD with the girls after literally walking ALL day… And yes, I wear a fanny pack when I’m working.


Full moon flooding, acqua alta, in Piazza San Marco


A neon piece at the Peggy Guggenheim by Mario Merz that says,”Se la forma scompare, la sua radice é eterna”: “If the form vanishes, it’s root is eternal”


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Full Moon Mix: Just because…

Veruschka by Franco Rubartelli

Veruschka by Franco Rubartelli

It’s not the Full Moon or even the New Moon, which was in Aquarius last week, but I thought I’d share some tunes anyways.  Some sounds to counteract the cold and celebrate a SLIGHTLY longer day! We are on the upside people! Enjoy… xoxo

The “Just Because….” Mix




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End of the Year SALE


What a year! I hope it was beautiful and exciting, full of health, love, and good luck for all of you!

I am working on some really fun new projects that I can’t wait to unveil in the New Year… until then I’m gearing up for some time with family and friends in the South West and the West Coast.

For the next couple days, you can order last minute deals at www.shopwaxandcruz.com– I had a such a good time making all these products and they each have an origin and story somewhere in the world.

Excited to make space for new, artisanal pieces in 2015!

Happy Holidays to All of You! Love Before All Y’all!!



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Corfu, Greece

Here are some snapshots from a work trip to Corfu a couple weeks ago.  The island was rocky and textural, but really lush and humid.  The food, as is typical in Greece, is to die for.  If you don’t eat bread and cheese you will tortured every time you sit down to a meal by fluffy, fried confections, and salty white frommage.  It was pretty decadent, but balanced out by simple, fresh grilled fish and local olive oil.  I could eat like this every day- no complaints.

A rainy trip out to paradise beach, and the final destination– rocky, white cliffs sheltering a desolate cove inaccessible except by small boat.

The perfect lunch spot in an old olive oil factory, turned rustic country home.

Olive wood is a local export, as well as olive oil of course.  How many salad tongs and olive wood spatulas does a girl need? Our kitchen in newly stocked with all sorts of spoons, cooking tools, and cutting boards.  They are pretty enough to hang on the wall, but I’m going to use them. Limes also grow in the wild.

Strange, antiquated sticker graffiti.  I saw this in a small side street and was fascinated by it- so elegant!

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May I Introduce…

…the Wax + Cruz Vision Quest Duffel! She is perfect as a carry-on, for weekend getaways, for beach days, or for trips to the gym.  As always, made in the USA of imported fabrics.  A perfect travel companion– mine has already been to Tulum, Texas, Puerto Rico, Cali, and Corfu! No wear and tear yet and lots of admirers along the way…seen here with her close relative, The Nevelson cap.  Both can be found in the shop! AND we are now on Instagram, follow us! Our handle is waxandcruz. xoxo

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Marfa, Texas

Top left: image from W Magazine by Mario Sorrenti shot in Marfa, top right: cowboy from Marfa by Adam Fedderly, bottom left: aerial view of Marfa from the El Cosmico website, horseshoe from Cast and Crew, Marfa, TX

what to pack

 1) Hat by Nick Fouquet, 2) Embroidered top from JM Drygoods, 3) Army Jacket available at the shop at El Cosmico, 4) Brass bracelet by Bailey Hunter Robinson, 5) Jeans by Chimala at Madewell, 6) Boots handmade in Marfa by Cobra Rock Boot Company, 7) Bandana Tote by RTH

The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Mar-fa! You know the song right?

I took a quick road trip to the strange paradise of West Texas recently and it was just what the doctor ordered.  Sometimes you just need some space, breathing room if you will- and Marfa and the surrounding landscape offer nothing but. While there are a thousand things to explore in the Trans Pecos (from the majestic Big Bend National Park and the eccentric ghost-town of Terlingua, to star parties at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis) these three days were a strict “make no plans” kind of vacay.

I loaded up a borrowed Jeep with a bicycle and some firecrackers bought roadside on a Texas highway and headed out to meet an old friend for a couple days of catching up, breathing fresh air, and simply hanging out.

Basically, there’s not much to do (which is lovely when you live in New York or any other busy metropolis).  In Marfa, you can go hiking about an hour out of town, you can have a beer at a local honkey tonk like the Lost Horse Saloon, you can play pool at said local honkey tonk, and you can eat at one of a few local spots (try Future/ Food Shark, the Pizza Foundation, Cochineal, or Maiya’s).  By day, there is a killer book store, Marfa Book Company, a couple of perfectly curated shops (Tienda M, Freda, Cast and Crew, and the El Cosmico Provision Company) and some art galleries to peruse. Ballroom Marfa and The Wrong Store are good places to start.

There is also The Chinati Foundation, Donald Judd’s mecca for the minimal, which put Marfa on the map of contemporary art consciousness. Judd founded the art scene in Marfa in the 70’s when he bought up half the town to house and create his large architectural sculptures. He brought the works of his contemporaries, heavy hitters like Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain, to the party and voila`, something special was born in American culture.

My favorite thing however, is chatting with locals and being ever surprised by their ingenuity, taste-level, and the moxie it takes to live so far from all the conveniences of a big city. They have found an oasis of creativity and community and everyone seems to be working on something personal, whether it be an art project or launching a small business.

After riding bikes, or walking around town, my friends and I convened for a cold beer around the fire on the patio of Marfa’s airstream and teepee resort, El Cosmico, and laughed about crossing paths with the same people three of four times throughout the day, because yes, Marfa is truly a small town.

When we looked up we could see a twinkling band of stars in the cold, clear desert sky.  It was quiet. It was quality time with loved ones!

The next day on my way out of town, I decided to take the long way home, just to savor the nothingness and openness of my short stay.  Slowly, the open landscape bled back into the small towns of Texas and finally to a well lit skyline.

Marfa, Texas

Marathon, Texas on my drive home

Nearby Big Bend National Park from a previous trip

On a side note, check out these beautiful candid images from the set of “Giant” which was filmed in Marfa in 1956.  I love the style.  Liz, James, and Rock look so glamorous yet utilitarian and natural in the landscape.





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Interview: Harper Poe of Proud Mary Textiles

Harper Poe of Proud Mary Textiles

I’ve had my eye on Harper Poe’s textile line, Proud Mary, for quite some time. When I read her philosophy, I knew I had discovered a kindred spirit! Harper is a fellow textiles enthusiast, a curious and passionate traveler, and a smart business woman.  I reached out to her to see if she would be interested in doing a Wax + Cruz collaboration and luckily she said yes!  The Proud Mary/ Wax + Cruz Cap is here and it will make jeans and a t-shirt look like a million bucks.  It is made of fair trade, hand-loomed Guatemalan cotton and denim, and was assembled here in the USA. Read below to hear what Harper has to say about her inspiring line and check out the “Proud Mary”/ Wax + Cruz beauty below!

Our collaboration, the “Proud Mary”/ Wax + Cruz Cap!

W + C: Tell us where you are from and how Proudmary came to be. 

HP: I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I had a very nice, suburban upbringing- so nice that it bored me.  I was always very restless and until I studied abroad in college I didn’t know how to fix it.  I just knew there was more to life than my little bubble growing up and once I starting exploring the world I knew that that is what I wanted my life to be, exploring.  So, after school I moved around a lot…Costa Rica, France, Colorado, LA, and then NY.  I loved NY. I started Proud Mary while living in NY in 2007 with a good friend of mine, Molly Purnell.  Molly and I used to get together multiple times a week and brainstorm about how we could combine our love of travel, textiles, design, and economic development.  I was really into the idea (and still am) of economic development and how we could use consumerism to create sustainable jobs for artisans in the 3rd world.  This was the catalyst to start Proud Mary.  We launched our first small collection, handmade in Guatemala, in late 2008.  Soon after that, I moved down to Charleston and Molly left Proud Mary to go back to school.  For the next few years I put Proud Mary on the back burner to work on some other projects and really picked it up again in 2011.  Since 2011 I’ve been full time at my perfect job.  Proud Mary is now working in 5 countries; Guatemala, Morocco, Mali, Niger, and Peru and selling to about 40 retail shops around the world.
W + C: Explain the idea behind “pride not pity”, your company’s motto.
HP: My mentor always stressed to me to treat all of our relationships with our artisan partners as a business-to-business relationship.  By holding them accountable for timely, quality work and in return providing a fair wage and access to broader markets they are empowered and can take pride in their work and themselves. In my mind taking pity means giving hand outs and exceptions for not keeping up their end of the bargain.  The artisans we work with are exceptionally talented men and women and by celebrating the beauty in their products we can keep the conversation positive.
W + C: Can you tell us about your time in South America with Habitat for Humanity and how it influenced your ideas about running a business with artisans from other countries? 
HP: This was my first glimpse into traditional craft.  I was in Chile so they are not necessarily known for their textiles like Bolivia or Peru, but of course textiles cross borders and the Mapuche ones are really amazing.  I think I fell in love with the people as much or more than the textiles.  I loved working day to day with people from a different culture and that really inspired me to make that part of my career.  Being able to email with someone in Mali in the morning (via Google translate, my French is awful), then Skype with my shoe producer in Morocco, and finish the day with a phone call to Guatemala makes my world feel really big which makes me incredibly happy.
W + C: Would you recommend the Habitat for Humanity experience for others?
HP: Absolutely.  It’s travel with a purpose and you meet the most amazing people!
W + C: In which countries have you found the work of artisans particularly inspiring?   What are you generally drawn to when choosing someone to work with? 
HP: There are so many amazing traditional textiles in the world. I’m really drawn to African textiles for their color (or lack of) and simple geometric shapes and stripes.  Some of my current favorites are Kuba Cloth (from Congo), Aso Oke which is Nigerian strip weaving, and of course mud cloth from Mali.  My goal for Proud Mary is for it to be a global exploration of textiles and work with cultures/countries that are known for having a strong textile tradition.  When I first start working in a new country I will do the research, see whats possible and learn about their techniques.  From there I will take their techniques and put my own spin on them.  I’ll come up with an idea sometimes and they look at me like I’m crazy because it’s not traditionally what they do aesthetically, but that combination between my ideas and how the producer sees the project is what makes the products special.  I love that Proud Mary products are not so obviously ethnic and that you can’t always tell where it’s made.
When I’m looking to expand into a new country I will go through non profits and/or NGO’s that are working on the ground and know the situation with the different artisan groups.  There are a lot of organizations that do artisan capacity building, meaning they work with artisan groups and get them to a point that they are export ready.  They make sure the artisans have the capacity to produce in volume, have a bank account, can email, and properly pack and ship orders.  Proud Mary is so small and doesn’t have the resources to do this work ourselves so I have to depend on folks on the ground to act as a facilitator and connect the dots.
W + C: Are there any artisans/ cultures that you haven’t had a chance to work with but hope to in the future?
HP:I’m dying to work in South East Asia. Something is drawing me to the Phlippines. There is obviously a need there in terms of economic development  and their traditional textiles are stunning and fairly unknown which is exciting.
W + C: If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why? 
HP: Mali. It has my heart.
W + C: What are your go-to travel items- what is always in your bag?
HP: A camera, scarf, notebook, and weleda chapstick.
W + C: Who or what defines your idea of true style?
HP: The most stylish people I know seem to have a uniform.   They know what works, what they feel good in, and own it with little regard to trends.
W + C: THANK YOU Harper!
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full moon mix: the west is the best, baby


In honor of the big, beautiful full moon a couple days ago, my time in southwest Texas this past weekend, and my recent viewing of Terrence Malick’s Badlands

My “The West is Best, Baby” mix!!  A spacious and sometimes psychedelic soundtrack to the Western in my mind. Enjoy!



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