Style bloggers Stephanie Trendocher and Jacklyn Warmington curate fresh aesthetics for local urbanites
Beaux Mondes bloggers
Jacklyn Warmington and Stephanie Trendocher
How did you two meet?
Jacklyn and I met through social circles a few years ago but it feels like we've known each other forever. The more we got to know each other, the more we realized we had in common. You know you have a connection when you never run out of things to talk about. After putting my former style blog on hold, I knew I wanted Jacklyn to be involved in starting a new project with me. We brainstormed ideas for a few months and realized that what we really wanted the blog to be was a snapshot of things we love, be it people, places or things. We spend much of our time enjoying the city – cafes, shops, the market, the arts. The blog took shape in this way. We had a certain aesthetic in mind and it played a really important part in establishing the look and feel of the blog. At the same time, we wanted it to be really personable. Each post is a day in our lives, in our city.
How would you describe the connection/creative chemistry behind your partnership?
We share a vision for our blog. We're always inspired, bouncing ideas off each other. By challenging one another creatively and professionally we've established a great working relationship. We share a love for fashion, interior design, architecture, art, books, magazines. Though our style may differ at times, our enthusiasm for these things keeps us in sync. Brainstorming sessions happen all day, everyday. Loving what you do is so important, and we're passionate about discovering new places, products and the people behind them. The blog is a collaborative effort; we shoot together so as not to miss any details and work together on the text so our thoughts are expressed equally.
How has the style DNA of the Hamilton area changed in the last five years? How do you see it changing in the next five?
The downtown is continually evolving. Artists have long been establishing studios downtown. We're now seeing a younger generation of entrepreneurs setting up shop on James Street, Locke Street and the like, and they’re here to stay. They are mixing in with the original shops, preserving the heritage and establishing their own presence. Beyond the downtown, people are investing in gorgeous Victorian homes and loft conversions are selling out. The light rail transit plan promises easier commuting. But there was (and sometimes still is) a stigma that Hamilton was all filth, poverty, drugs and crime. It’s moving beyond that. We ourselves are working to transform its image by showcasing the culture and character of the city. That’s not to say it has been completely reborn – there are still boarded-up shops – but we’re witnessing its revitalization. James Street North is like SoHo in the 1960s/1970s. There’s this grandeur to the architecture, a distinct heritage that’s embraced, a vibrant arts scene, an emerging pride among the city’s residents, affordable properties. Some critique that James Street North losing its edge, that it’s bordering on gentrification, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to enjoy what it is, continue to build on it. People here know each other and support the endeavors of one another. The downtown core will continue to prosper with the right vision and attitude. We can only hope that Ottawa Street, Barton Street and such will experience the same renaissance.
Is there one local place that epitomizes what you’re all about?
There are a few. Pure Home Couture for its aesthetic and charm; Earth to Table Bread Bar for their vision and local initiatives. Mulberry Street Cafe on James Street is wonderful. The owner took an old building and restored it to its original charm, she supports the arts community by featuring new artists each month, and buys organic and local produce. We want to express how important we feel it is to support local industry. Businesses that share this mandate while also possessing style capture what we're all about.
Do you use conscious criteria when selecting entries, or do you go more on feel/intuition?
Much of what we do is based on our feelings. But there are certain things that are of real importance to us – supporting local and Canadian businesses, young entrepreneurs and creative people, environmentally conscious initiatives, embracing the heritage of Hamilton and showcasing the beauty we find in the city. We have to have a personal connection to what we're featuring. If we don't, then we won't post it. Everything featured on our blog is places we go to, things we love, people we’re inspired by. As we're growing, our focus is broadening to featuring Canadian businesses and products around the country, in addition to those in our city.
There’s a potential tension between the tastemaker wanting to share an exclusive and the style maven who’s maybe a little protective of their secrets. Do you ever hold anything back for that reason?
We’re pretty open with our readers. We're basically shouting from the rooftops about what we love. Trends are easily followed by the masses, and they change every season. But our style is rooted within – it’s genuine.
What local guilty pleasures do you have that would never fit the Beaux Mondes vision?
Visit www.beaux-mondes.com for more.
Appears in the Winter 2010 edition of Hamilton Magazine