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  Posted: Apr 29, 2012 12:42 AM FEED
1 Amaro
Working from my parents porch today. #California

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A refined woman has learned about her heart. 💋 She knows the areas where she’s tender, so she can feel more peaceful when they’re touched.

A refined woman knows her strengths + claims them boldly. She sees her weaknesses as places for others to shine in their strengths.

A refined woman dresses joyfully. She isn’t seeking your approval, only her own.

A refined woman doesn’t flush at tripping down the stairs or having food in her teeth. She’s anchored in her true identity, so she can laugh off things that don’t change her core reality as graceful.

A refined woman can apologize easily because her confidence in who she is, makes her occasional missteps bearable.

A refined woman’s friends tell her everything because there isn’t a hint of judgement or competition to make them pause.

A refined woman isn’t quiet, perfect or demur. She’s secure. Whether that’s in her pink hair or body curves, being an introverted thinker or or a badass, in being a mom or choosing not to have children. She’s secure.

And she helps others around her feel the same. Peace begets peace. A rising tide lifts all boats.

So honored to be FEATURED today on @TheRefinedWoman which inspired the reflection above on who I’m seeking to be. 💋 Photo @TheKatHarris

While we’re all a work in progress, what else does or would make you feel refined? 💋 #ElegantExcellence // PS Tag a friend who this reminds you of!
" our businesses + lives: us. Us not thinking we can change. But we can. I'm proof."

Imperfect exhausted ramblings 💋 Self-awareness, being extraordinary on the inside, having the courage to work on the things you like least about yourself... THAT is what has revolutionized my business + life.

Can't sum up my 90 min keynote here + fighting to stay awake, but SO thankful for each person who makes a point after a talk to share their story with me.

Thankful to you for chiming in here to share stories + inform the talk the last few weeks.

I DONT KNOW why more people don't talk about the emotional toll of entrepreneurship. But that is the most common comment I heard tonight, "No one talks about this, thank you!"

Even the one kind man who kind of Cam Newton-ed + started telling me how he thought "this was going to be another girl speaker talking to girls about her feelings". 😂 But he meant well + the point was I hooked him in right away + he realized this was for him. #HeartFull

Why DO I talk about it?... I guess I can't help it? It changed my life. How could I not want to help others?? Like how I want you all to watch West Wing + college football bc they are life? [wink]

Mmkay. One tequila, two tequila, floor. Off to bed. #ontraport #ontrapalooza
Rooftops, overalls + marigold. Perfection. 🥂 Next WEDNESDAY come hang out with moi + Anthropologie!

You guys. I'm officially a runway model. Beau is thrilled to say that. Ha. But I'm thrilled that Anthro has invited "real women" to model their fall collection, + host a panel on style + beauty.

And YOU CAN JOIN US IN NYC! 🥂 I've got 15 tickets for y'all for just $25 via LINK IN BIO. 3 of my besties (Jolie, Laura + Jade) are already coming. Boogie on over before they sell out!

So honored to be sharing the stage with the darling @maddiegreer @simplycyn + bestie @therefinedwoman at @anthro_nyc!

PS Years ago I was a shop girl at Anthro. My fav store. If you'd told me I would get to be a model + speaker one day?! Come cheers to real girls being the new model of beauty. 🥂 #GirlSquad #YouCanSitWithUs #LadiesNight

PPS Have any girlfriends in the NY area? Tag 'em below!
Sunset, blooms + new friends you love quickly.💋 Recently a friend said "I'm just really happy"

I recounted all the things that had happened for him in the last 7 years: sick child, hard marriage season, changing jobs + more.

"It sounds like things are finally peaceful + AMEN to being so grateful for things simply being everyday ordinary good!"

When you've gone through dark valleys, the simple sunny hills are gorgeous. They don't have be flashy high mountain peaks. We can just be thankful for a lack of drama, uncertainty, transition, adjustment + instead a presence of peace. •
What's a small thing you're thankful for today? 💋 #ElegantExcellence #ChooseJoy
When one man creates terror, we immediately champion community. Our language is "Pray for Las Vegas, Miami, Manchester, Nice..."

I heard a woman say when her husband told her he'd had an affair, she ran to her room fell on her knees and through the tears just kept praying "thank you".

For months I couldn't understand how you could do that; I was confident I didn't have near her strength or evolved wisdom.

But I've realized it's not actually a superhuman heart, it's a heart so devastated that the only way you know to survive another moment is to believe there must be one good thing that you will eventually believe again.

So this morning, through tears, I am thankful that our instinct is to come together. When one man represents evil, the rest of us lean in in love. I don't recall stories of fighting, blame after these events.

Whatever our religion we use the word "pray" all over Instagram to say "I choose love". That we believe in one another, in our goodness, so much that one act of evil will only make us love harder.

I, New York, pray for you Las Vegas. And to you, in your city, with its own heartbreaks this morning, in your own life, that won't make the news.

Aside: What will it take to make automatic weapons illegal. (I write that sentence wanting to scream it out of a deep rage.) However, I know truly it's about mental health. And wonder if each shooter was truly + deeply known + loved, with people to see signs of pain... End musing.

Stand up, lean in. We are good, we are loving. We are together + if we speak up, we are loud enough to change the world for good. #PrayForLasVegas
Fellow entrepreneurs, can I ask you a favor? 💋 I'm writing a keynote speech on emotional health in entrepreneurship (the most important thing we talk about the least).

I'd love to include stories (anonymously) beyond my own. What has been the greatest challenge or darkest reality for you in business when it comes to your mind, heart or body?

Friends + students have shared things like, "I cry at my desk everyday. I get sick every other week I'm so stressed. Literally overnight I became allergic to avocados, nuts, bananas."

"Every time we closed a launch, I would end up in the hospital. What's so twisted is because the launches were successful, I associated that the only way I could succeed was to accept making myself that sick."

"We both had affairs. We'd put work first, chasing success + were miserable."

"Everyone quits. I can never find a team that sticks around. It's like I have abandonment issues. I hate that I need people to run my business."

WOULD LOVE TO HEAR: What has been the greatest challenge or low around feeling like an beautifully emotionally healthy person while running a business? ❤️ #ElegantExcellence #AntiHustleEntrepreneurship #ARisingTide

PS If you don't feel comfortable sharing here type "DM" below + send me a direct message. But if you can, sharing here will wildly bless someone else who's struggling with the thing + doesn't know anyone else is. ❤️ [ photog: @torielisey ]
I've gained a few pounds + now my skirts are tight.

It was a month or so ago I realized this. Since then I've been aware of how much it permeates everything.

I change clothes more often in the morning. I feel constricted because I can wear less of my wardrobe. I'm physically less comfortable in my clothes. I want to shop both more + less. Emotionally my energy just feels more blah (also because I'm on a deadline for a big creative project + that is my least favorite place to work from.)

For the first time in a decade (I struggled with my weight but it's been easy to maintain post Weight Watchers as I was just overeating) I feel that guilt over food. Not the wise "no I don't want sugar, I want something healthy". But the "no you shouldn't have pizza... but now that I can't have it I want ittttttt".

We're talking about maybe five pounds which moves me from an XS to a S at Anthropologie. I've found as a personal stylist the numbers don't matter. You can be a 4 or a 14, 24 or 54, desire to lose 10 or 100. The sinking feeling inside is the same.

I don't know a single woman who can't relate. Femininism, body positive, a gent who loves you, girlfriends who champion you, a vision for your purpose in the world -- I don't know if any of those solve that sixth sense that we just don't feel great in our bodies every day.

I'm thinking about this a lot as I write my first style book for you.

My passion is to heal women's hearts, increase joy in your beauty through education, inspiration + empathy.

I am wildly more confident than I was before I became a stylist + stood in so many women's closets hearing their vulnerable hearts.

But I feel less beautiful when I've gained five pounds.

I don't have a summary sentence yet. But I'd love to hear your thoughts. 💋 #EncourageBeauty #BookWriting #BodyHonest >>> MORE on this topic on my IG STORIES!

PS I do have a plan btw (when unhappy, make a new choice). To lose a few pounds + feel better. If you want to join Beau + I in early October I'll share more in an IG post.
Taking vacation seriously 💋 For the most beautiful footage we've ever shot for you pretty PLEASE see my IG Story! #DeanStTravelBetty

PS Where's the most peaceful place you've ever traveled to?
"The poetry of earth is never dead" Keats 💋 Sunrise from our porch. Deep breaths of nature on IG Stories... #BreakingBusy #ChasingSlow #OffTheMap
"Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple" JK Rowling 💋 Awoke to weather requiring a sweater for my morning walk today. Fall.

Summer. A few folks commented on my long spells between posting this summer. And I realize we're like those true friends. The ones where you can go awhile without talking, then pick back up like you didn't miss a beat. Though you nonetheless miss each other in the absence.

In the last five months I've fallen in love. Twice. With married men. Beau's fine with it as they're my new business partners. 💋 Five months ago today Dean St got two gay dads who wanted to come in + love this family just as much as I do. Unbelievable.

I prayed for them on Monday after deep talks with our Creative Director and Team Strategist. God answered by Thursday. It was the single most swift + shocking answer to prayer of my life.

And so we've been expanding the house to make space to grow! We've brought on 2 more full time team members bringing us up to 9. And have made great strides in multiple creative endeavors to help you more + help more of you.

So when I'm not here writing to you... I'm writing + researching a book for you; when not here creating pretty images, I'm creating a beautiful new website; when not here teaching how to build a business, I'm walking the walk building the next level of mine... so I can come back + share that too.

However, starting today I'm taking you on an adventure! ✈️ See IG STORIES for hints of where we're flying off to.

Want to hang in person? So honored to announce I'm keynoting at a biz conference in Santa Barbara next month! ✈️ Get over 50% off with the code "OPLZAAward" at (LINK in bio).

Here's to a fresh crisp season of growth, closeness + adventure. Whether bold or quiet, buzzy or behind-the-scenes, bustling or intimate. #ElegantExcellence
One August I took a job at my favorite store, Anthropologie. I loved being on dressing room rotation as I’d get to give style advice.

Two weeks in, I gave my two weeks notice when I got cast dancing with the Radio City Rockettes. Being a stylist didn't cross my mind until years later.

For many Augusts I worked as a cocktail waitress at the US Open tennis tournament. I loathed wearing a cheap polyester polo shirt, wading through a steamy industrial kitchen + being spoken down to by entitled people.

Five years in, I declared it would be the last job I'd ever work that made me feel small. That same week I launched my website as a personal stylist.

This August I'm sitting in my beautiful office, just off our always laughter-and-love-filled weekly call with team of seven. I adore my work more than I ever dreamt.

Six years in, our primary mission to help women feel more beautiful is exploding to a new level of impact that has me in awe daily of what God is doing.

Today I'm following along online with today's US Open. While it was the worst job I ever worked, it instilled a love of tennis.

Today @anthro_nyc posted a photo of me on their Instagram account. (Hello full circle. Also so did their sister co @bhldn. Rad day.) While it was the shortest job I ever worked, it's still my favorite store.

Today I am thankful to look back and see who I've always known I am, and who I am not.

I loved helping people, being around beauty, celebrating femininity.

I loathed feeling small, making me so passionate about saving others from feeling that way in their career or their body.

Where do you want to be next August? 💋 Who are you today that will be even more apparent then?

P.S. Want to know my very first post on Instagram?? 💋 Check out my IG STORIES. I posted in October, 4 months before I decided to become an entrepreneur, but it was taken in August 7 years ago...
When do you feel most beautiful? 💋 For me it's when I'm comfortable.

In a skirt that isn’t too tight. With friends around whom I can be myself. Knowing my gent thinks I’m lovely sans makeup. •
Wearing my go-to red lipstick. When the house is freshly cleaned + there’s flowers on the coffee table. Comfortable.

I’ve felt divine in an evening dress, or like I needed to suck in all night. Pathetic for being in sweatpants or delightedly cozy.

Slightly anxious amidst a group of people, or deliciously at peace. Insecure in a relationship or at home. •
Sometimes my full makeup is dry + cracking, other times it’s bright + happy. Some days my bare face highlights dark circles, others it radiants confidence. I’ve felt embarrassed + sexy at the exact same weight.

For me beautiful isn’t in a certain style, size, season. It’s a choice I can make in my life daily. More on this topic via LINK in profile...

What makes you feel beautiful? 📷 @thekatharris for @bhldn #EncourageBeauty
Friendship has always been hard for me. It's a love I've always wanted more of than I felt I had.

Since elementary school I was in trios where I felt the other 2 girls liked each other more. Whether they did or not, I can't go back + prove, but that's how friendship felt from a young age - not being liked enough. •
In high school my "best friend" would often not show after saying she'd pick me up for plans. •
After college a friend was doing something I thought was hurtful to her. Fearing being called judgmental I stayed quiet. But our friends still knew my heart, + I was made an outcast. I felt confused as to what friendship meant: staying silent if you think someone could be hurt? Having to pretend to agree? Was either love?

The thing is, I knew I was a good friend. Imperfect of course. But I poured out love, loyalty, support, closeness. •
Meanwhile I was someone deeply anxious, which escalated arguments + created drama. My heart was truly selfless for my friends, but my anxiety also made me selfish to be around. •
Many of my poor friendships were not my fault. At all. Others were surely distanced because of hurt broken parts of myself I asked others to bear.

So I decided to change. First, I worked deeply on myself. Not realizing this would have any effect on friendships, I was just determined to be healthier + calmer on the inside. And as I craved more friendships, I focused on being an even better friend, the kind of friend I wanted.

Then, I reevaluated my friendships. I let some go if they weren't uplifting, healthy. I stopped fighting so hard for some, still present just not creating hurt if they're not as close as I desire.

Finally, I started seeking + praying. I asked God for deep friendships, to show me how to love people better. I made a small list of the women I was going to be intentional about prioritizing time with + let go of guilt over spreading myself too thin with lots of coffee dates.

Today I have deeper, healthier, more mutual + meaningful friendships than I've ever had. It's a desire that isn't finished. People will ebb + flow. I'll meet another best friend in the next year. Someone... [Continued in comment below]
Little car, little crush 💋 PS For some little lessons on life, see IG Stories + highlights from the Dean St Retreat I'm hosting! #DeanStTravelBetty
Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle 💋 Waking up with a tender heart this morning as I sit here with Beau + consider the burdens our friends are carrying right now.
I want to share (anonymously of course) personal conversations I've had just in the last few weeks.
Not stories I've read. Things I heard second hand. Not even messages from students. I have just as many real life friends as anyone yet this is what that circle is carrying.
• Father sexually abused sister
• Brother died suddenly
• Restraining order against a stalker
• Husband is alcoholic
• PTSD from father's death
• Abortion
• Father is homeless
• Thoughts of suicide
This is not to mention finances, health, stress, overwhelm, self-doubt, conflict with friends, a breakup, unhappiness with weight... a hundred other hard things where everyone is dealing with something.
Yet instead of feeling gutted by the weight of it I find myself thinking "Wow we are strong!" and "Thank God we have each other".
Whatever you're feeling, fearing or carrying this morning, you're not alone. That doesn't diminish your pain - there's no contest. It simply means we see you.
If you're carrying something you haven't shared, please, ask someone to coffee. ❤️ I promise you every person above felt better when they shared.
Hurt people hurt people. We're all hurting. Loved people love people. Let yourself be loved. And even when someone is acting out of hurt, love them back. ❤️
White space 💋 A huge key in changing my life the last couple years.
I slowed down. Said "no" more. Stopped working nights + weekends. Sweat less of the small stuff. Hired more help. Went on Sabbatical. Stopped trying to work while visiting family.
It wasn't easy. But I fought for it. It doesn't just happen. You choose, declare, pray, seek, weep, talk... until you start to make slivers of progress.
Said on IG Stories yesterday I'm reading a book called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" + he says the first step is silence + solitude.
When you're always hustling, bustling, you can drown out your thoughts, feelings. You don't have time to investigate why that triggered you, why you're so frustrated.
I also talked on Stories about security (loved your comments) in our talent, ability, relationships. Self-awareness is powerful + only possible when you slow down to prioritize understanding + then improving yourself.
What would it look like to add more white space to your August? 💋 What's one thing you could do?
Walks without a podcast playing, Uber rides without a phone call + reading books slowly to pause come to mind for me... #ElegantExcellence #HealthyEntrepreneurs #ChoosePeace
Cutest corner in Paris 💋 Periwinkle, posh + perfect for an afternoon read #LittleJoys
Avocado toast, Blooms + Cappuccinos 💋 ABCs to my morning heart at this little French flower shop + cafe #DeanStTravelBetty
I took the road less traveled + that has made all the difference 💋 The yellow door of life looks happier, brighter... but it's only the top coat.

That sunshine allure promises if you stay light, you can ignore your shadows; that if you stay on the surface you can float along just as you always have.

The pale blue door admits it has sadness, pastel muted days. It asks you to swim away from the sun, to the deeper parts of your heart + soul that want healing.

I have become more confident in my body, my beauty, because as a stylist I believed there was more depth than the shininess of trends + rules.

I have become more peaceful, empowered as an entrepreneur, because I refused to accept the stress + striving I saw in so many around me.

I have become more calm, joyful as a human, because I fought like hell to declare that anxiety + easily angered are not what we're called to live with.

I take the road less traveled. It's longer + can be more lonely. But I promise m'dear it is oh so worth it.

The surface sunshine dries out, burns out... the deep water of real life forever refreshes you. #ElegantExcellence #SelfAwareness #ChooseBetter
Flowers check, coffee check 💋 My lazy Saturday plans include a documentary, book + backyard. How about you, love? #ChooseRest