For June, we chatted with Gail Lewis.
I met Gail by chance last spring. She the buyer, curator and marketing / events manager at russell & hazel. I stumbled upon russell & hazel in the North Loop and knew MEND belonged in there. I dropped off my cards and within a few weeks MEND debuted in its first store. Gail has always been an advocate & supporter of MEND.
Gail is talented, kind and stylish. She has an eye for effortless design in her career and is multi-passionated as a DJ and former clothing designer. We chatted with Gail on being inspired and finding balance.
Stone she wears: Black Spinel
Tell me a little bit about where you are at currently.
G: Currently, I am trying to figure out what the next step is for me professionally and also coastally! I am passionate about so many things and I want to do them all…lately acting has been calling me back and I also have a few ideas and personal projects that have been idle for far too long. I also love hiking and being outdoors, and this past winter in Minnesota was a tough one so evaluating my next zip code. ☺
M: We’re multi-passionate too, not a bad thing. We are also survivors of the crippling Minnesota winter. #itsfinallysummer
Tell us about the work you do for russel&hazel.
G: I am the buyer/retail curator for the russell+hazel and Mara Mi Store, which means I source and purchase products for both stores. I am also responsible for merchandising the stores and creating the retail environment, which includes music selection, scent, customer service experience….the overall look and feel of the store when you walk in. I also produce events for both of the stores and am responsible for marketing the stores…in a nutshell. ☺
M: We are loyal fans to the r+h brand, but the store layout is top notch. We think your talent to curate, market and deliver the retail experience there is impeccable!
What inspires you?
G: This may sound cheesy but I am inspired by EVERYTHING. I find different things that inspire me all the time. One day it could be music, the next day an individual or a photo. I think that if I work on being open, life will constantly keep sending me sources of inspiration in different forms.
M: Not cheesy at all! We find our inspiration from wherever each day takes us.
What’s your daily mantra?
G: “I am phenomenal”. It is actually an Eminem song that I listen to first thing in the morning when I’m working out, it gets me going! “Phenomenal Woman” is also my favorite poem by Maya Angelou, which I have tattooed on my wrist☺.
M: We love that the mantra was inspired by both Eminem and Maya Angelou.
Is there a specific MEND stone or piece you are connected to?
G: I am obsessed with the Black Spinel. Finding balance is one of my greatest challenges which is why I feel like I may be so drawn to this stone.
M: It’s also a stone with immense energy & beauty, which we also believe is a great match for you!
When you think of MEND as a brand, what comes to mind?
G: Mindful immediately comes to mind. MEND is just so impactful in that it helps me to be present, which is incredibly powerful. Being present helps me foster such productive, real and supportive relationships.
Name someone who has changed your life.
G: My fiancé. When we met, I was not in the best place in life and he was …and still is such an amazingly positive human being. He taught me that what you think, you create. He’s also helped encourage me to take the leap and try a lot of things I had on the back burner waiting for that illusive “the perfect time”. About six months after we started dating, we moved across the country. I got to try modeling in a few bigger markets, I produced a clothing line, traveled to the Philippines to host a TV show, took up acting in LA and started DJing! Being with him throughout the process of him creating his hair product line was also very inspiring…I, of course, now want to create my own line of natural beauty products for women of all color.
M: Incredible. From the cross-country travels to modeling, acting to DJ-ing and now venturing into beauty products. What an amazing journey and fortune to share it with someone.
Each month, we will share insights of the women who embody, wear & inspire us. The goal is to feel connected to those around us, through their stories and connection to MEND.