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Olive Loves: philoSophie’s®

“You can’t create something huge without starting small,” says Joanna Alberti, founder and creator of the custom line of cards, stationery and social expressions called philoSophie’s®.

philoSophie’s® is a line of stylish illustrations featuring the character Sophie and her inspirational thoughts on friendship, love & confidence. What began as a love for drawing the fun and whimsical character of Sophie has grown into a lifestyle and ever-growing business for Joanna.

Alberti hand embellishes every card she designs, from everyday occasions, birthdays, weddings and baby announcements to holiday cards and personal stationery, with a touch of glitter and a stroke of blush. Joanna expresses pride in saying that all her designs are made in the USA with love…and it shows.

Meet the enterprising Joanna Alberti, who launched her own small business in her mid-twenties, and find out what she has to say about launching a small business and building a brand.

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Olive Loves: Jewelry by Joanna Laura Constantine

Accessories Designer Joanna Laura Constantine grew up in Lebanon and it is plain to see how her native country’s Middle Eastern roots and culture influence and inspire her jewelry designs. From rings and bracelets to earrings and necklaces, all of Joanna’s statement pieces are emblazoned with bold colors and striking stones, crystals and pearls. Retail prices range from $70 to $200 for bracelets, $60 to $150 for rings, $150 to $400 for necklaces and $100 to $200 for earrings.

“In this economy, I want women to feel good about buying new pieces without spending outside of their budgets,” said Joanna Laura Constantine. “I design statement pieces for women who would never sacrifice their sense of style.”

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Read my interview with Joanna Laura Constantine to find out what fuels her creatively and get a peek at her Fall 2013 accessories collection.

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Olive Loves: Michelle Vale Handbags

New York City handbag designer, Michelle Vale, is a busy woman. Her mission to change the way women experience luxury handbags is a full-time pursuit and passion. Most recently, Michelle Vale Inc. unveiled its “Michelle Vale for Audi Leather Tote Collection.” Custom-made for Audi, these beautiful black and silver leather totes were designed and made in New York like all of her handbags. I caught up with Michelle and she shared with me what she loves most about living and building a brand in New York, how to “Make It in Manhattan” and the two Kates who are fans of her handbags. Count me among her loyal fans!

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Olive Loves: SoulCycle

If you have not heard of the fitness craze SoulCycle yet, get ready because you will. Seven years ago, Julie Rice co-founded Soul Cycle, a unique brand of exercise that is part spin class/part party/part meditation, with Elizabeth Cudler. When Julie couldn’t find the perfect workout, she decided to create it.

SoulCycle was created with the intention that exercise should be fun and inspirational. Each class consists of 45 minutes of intense cardio, set to high energy music. The studio is lit only by candles. What started as a business plan on a napkin is now a growing business with a cult-like following.

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