"For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
While visiting my cousins in Rotorua, New Zealand, They tool me to Ahu Boutique by Adrienne Whitewood. It was there I discovered this beautiful Hinemoa tank top.
"Inspired by Maori art and culture, Adrienne Whitewood takes traditional concepts and with them invents unique silhouettes exploring fabric manipulation and technology, her ethos is all about creating wearable clothing for women who want an emotional connection to clothing."
I recently purchased these awesome custom crystal shoes from my good friends at SOLES ON FIRE. They were beautiful and amazing and went with my Lularoe Americana outfits perfectly. For the month of July head on over to SOLES ON FIRE and tell Marji that Ana sent you for a 20% off coupon for my shop when you make a purchase from at SOLES ON FIRE.
CODE from Soles on Fire Boutique
20% OFF at Lularoe Ana Aiono Dowden
Limit one coupon per customer
Not Valid with other Sales, Promotions, or Disney Products
Offer Expires July 31st
My parents immigrated to the United States before I was born, so being an American is part of the fabric of who I am. When my parents came here it was with the idea that "Living the American Dream" meant having the freedom and opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their children. I am so grateful for them and for this country that I live in. I feel like I get to live that "American Dream" everyday. While our country isn't perfect, each of us have the freedom here to choose to be better and to make this country better each day! God Bless America!
While at the Hibulb Cultural Center, I came across this beautiful Lisa Telford woven basket necklace. The detail and beauty of this piece really spoke to me. It reminded me of the woven kete we have in New Zealand. I was told that small baskets like this could be used to carry prayers and wishes of the wearer.
"As a Gawa Git’ans Git’anee Haida weaver she comes from a long line of weavers including her grandmother, mother, aunt, cousins and daughter. Lisa harvests and prepares her own material, using red and yellow cedar bark and spruce root. The gathering of materials takes her hundreds of miles from home and hours of preparation that vary depending on the final product. Bark is traditionally stored for one year and then must be processed further. Her baskets may be seen in the collections of The Oregon Historical Society, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, The Heard Museum, The Portland Art Museum, and The Burke Museum."
On our last trip to New Zealand, we went to visit my Mom's cousins, Memory and Ralph Hamon in Rotorua. Uncle Ralph is a talented carver who works with both bone and pounamu (Maori Greenstone or Jade). It was our first time meeting them, but Uncle and Aunty were so gracious to us and gifted us each a beautiful taonga.
My piece is a beautiful, pounamu piece with red coloring at the bottom and a fern koru carved into it. The red in the jade gets brighter in the sunlight and is said to be the blood of our Maori people inside the stone. Ronan's piece is a small pounamu pendant with three koru's or fern leaves carved into it to represent me, my husband, and Ronan. It was carved by my nephew Dion, Uncle Ralph's grandson. Last, Greg's piece is the powerful solid Koru (Spiral) carved from whale bone.
Uncle walked over to his whale bone section, very rare and very special, and grabbed the Koru and placed it on Greg's neck and said, "This one is for you!"
We also purchased a beautiful Whale Tale Pounamu pendant because it reminded us of Paikea, and my Ngati Porou ancestry.
His work is amazing and we are so honored to wear his pieces all the time.
We love you Uncle Ralph and Aunty Memory!
"Local Artist from Rotorua shares his impressive craftsmanship through one & many of natures beautiful stones, featured next is New Zealand Greenstone "Pounamu" the traditional Tiki.
Ralph comes from a family not short of many talents in the creative arts area and his shop is located at the well known Village of "Whakarewarewa" where you may even catch him in action sculpting his next master piece."
"Tongues speak. Teeth can bite."
On our trip to Canada back in March, we stopped by 8th Generation at Pike Place Market. The shop was full of amazing art pieces created by #InspiredNatives, but I was immediately drawn to this pair of earrings designed by Louie Gong, the owner. The woman working at the shop told me that they were titled "Strength" and that Louie had designed them as a tribute to the women in his tribe because they are fierce protectors of culture and their posterity. The earrings are designed to look like a wolf's mouth just like a mother wolf would be a fierce protector of her cubs.
I really liked the explanation and could identify with it because I was always told growing up that the women of my Maori tribe, Ngati Porou, were figures of strength and participated in leadership roles and in the protecting and preservation of culture.
According to the description from his website:
This original "Strength" earring design by Louie Gong (Nooksack) developed organically from his signature art style, which often includes symbols of empowerment such as oversized teeth, tongues, and claws. Here, the hand-painted wood compliments northwest Native art traditions ,while ensuring that every single earring has a unique wood grain and paint job that can never be duplicated. This compliments the bold contemporary finish of the body and tongue, which is made of acrylic. The metal jump ring and hook have a gun metal finish.
Louie Gong (Nooksack), founder of Eighth Generation, is a self-taught artist who was raised by his grandparents in the Nooksack tribal community in northwest Washington...Louie’s unique style merges traditional Coast Salish art with influences from his mixed heritage and urban environment to create work that resonates widely across communities and cultures.
I love my LipSense lip color.
Not only do they have a variety of gorgeous colors to choose from, but they are long lasting. With a two-year-old who likes to touch my face and kiss my lips throughout the day I need something that won't rub off and I don't have to keep applying.
It is the perfect combination of BEAUTIFUL and PRACTICAL.
I was first introduced to this amazing brand by my cousin Laralynn Aiono Defngin, who is a LipSense Representative. Since starting with LipSense she has helped my niece
Shaye Aiono-Campbell become a representative as well. Today and tomorrow I am lucky enough to host an online party for Shaye. Check out her page: Lasting Lazy Girl Makeup
You won't regret it!
My Cassette Tape Carly Dress is one of my absolute favorites!
"We all want a cute dress that lets us breathe and move easier, so we are excited about the Carly - a swing dress that flatters the best parts of a feminine physique while being flowy and breezy everywhere else. The Carly comes in a wide array of fabrics, prints, and washes and has some amazing features such as a patch pocket, a flattering high-low hemline, and cool open sleeves.If you don’t already own a swing dress, we guarantee that you soon will! We all want a cute dress that lets us breathe and move easier. One that is chic, comfy and as versatile as your taste. Which is why we are excited about the Carly - a swing dress that flatters the best parts of the feminine physique while being flowy and breezy everywhere else.
Today’s modern swing dress is a flowy, comfy dress that still has an A-line shape. But rather than hugging your waist, the “A” shape hugs closer to your chest, with the fabric belling out from there. Because of the higher position of the “waist,” the swing dress has lots of movement potential--it “swings” when you walk! And there’s nothing more beautiful and feminine than a dress that swings and flows about you as you walk, dance, and just lounge."
Available @ Lularoe Ana Aiono Dowden
My new latest fashion obsession are my hand-beaded, custom-made, earrings by Mia Woody.
I literally have been wearing them everywhere and can't wait to get more.
I met Mia at our Lularoe Aiono Sisters pop-up party in Flagstaff, Arizona and fell in love with her work. I had been given the heart earrings prior to meeting her and loved her work already, but when I was able to see the range of styles and detail up close, my love turned into full blown obsession.
Mia Woody is a beautiful Navajo woman and her beadwork is impressive, modern, and elegant.
Everywhere I go, people are complementing me on my earrings and I feel beautiful wearing them.
Follow Mia Woody on:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not to thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths"
Proverbs 3:5-6 is my favorite scripture. Whatever spiritual path you may be on, I feel that it's so important to practice the principles of kindness, love, and charity towards each other. To me, these are the true teachings of Christ and the pathway that He will direct us on if we let Him. The more we show love to God and to our fellow men, the more Satan can't win.
"NOT TODAY SATAN" apparel available on ETSY from StampedByShaye
Black Cassie Skirt and Lindsay
from Lularoe Aiono Sisters