Zoe GiraudoVisual Manager at Ugg Australia & Co-Creater of Blonded By Style
Zoe has been a friend for a long time. I have always admired her for her keen sense of style and design, and her constant search for artistry and implementation of creativity in her life and with her family. She is a world traveler with an amazing love for people and connection. In her very minimal free time, Zoe has now launched a lifestyle blog today Blonded By Style to showcase her love of life. And don’t forget to catch more of my post on Style Me Pretty Living to see my coverage of Zoe’s fabulous Valentine DIY ideas for home and family.
I’m Zoe…I grew up in Northern California. My parents were true products of the 70’s, both were artists and they traveled the world with my sister and me. They believed that the world had more to teach than western education. My childhood was spent on the beaches of Bali and exploring Asia. It was an unorthodox upbringing, but one that still leaves me with a bit of wanderlust and larger appreciations of beauty and people of the world. Today my father is still an amazing artist and true Renaissance man. My mother has been an art teacher for the vast majority of her life and passion for kids and art run deep.
My craft was not as easy for me to define and I was much more interested in soccer as a teenager. I was dragged to every art show and found my passion in competitive sports.
I went to University of Colorado to play division I soccer and decided that a business degree was much more practical than anything in the art arena. Looking back it was more about rebelling against my ‘hippy’ parents and taking a more conservative path.
It was not until my mid-twenties when I found myself craving the artist side and I launched a very small jewelry company as a side job. I was working in advertising and found it unfulfilling, making jewelry was an escape to a beautiful place of baubles and beads. I would run my hand though the stones and putting the colors and designs together lit a fire in me that had grown very dim over the years.
I decided it was time to make a change and enrolled in FIDM visual design program. It was a quick program that put me on a trajectory in the right direction and I was able to build upon my marketing degree in area of visual merchandising and displays. It was a bit like finding the perfect fitting pair of shoes and you look back wondering what took you so long to make the purchase.
I interned for Anthropology, which at the time was my dream job and graduated a semester early. I started for them full-time and became a full-time artist; creating large scale windows, large internal displays and merchandising appeal. It is still one of the most creative periods of my life.
After Anthropology, Deckers Outdoor Company recruited me (the parent company of UGG Australia). I have been with the UGG Brand for over five years and been part of the team that has built out the store count up to 75 stores globally (still growing quickly). I am the Senior Visual presentation manager of Global, Direct to Consumer.
With stores located all over the world, I get to travel and see the world as I did as a child and I have the opportunity to work with wonderful creative, smart people from around the globe.
I met my husband eleven years ago at the Mauna Loa on Fillmore street six blocks from where we live today. He is a San Francisco native. Dan still makes me laugh everyday. And although most people think we are complete opposites (we are a bit like Dharma and Greg), we make a great team. He has been my rock through my career changed and through life changes. We had Gjelina Grace close to three years ago.
Child: Gjelina Grace Giraudo -age 2 ¾
Gjelina’s Favorite Things
Gjelina room décor was inspired by pops of yellow (sunshine), navy (sky) and white (calmness). I fell in love with the modern Oval Stokke crib that is now her toddler bed. The room is finished with an old set of yellow locker bins from the Alameda Flea Market.
Gjelina’s sense of style is more of a tomboy than true girl. She loves denim already (probably inherited from her aunt) and bright colors. I think it is important to dress her in stylish, yet comfortable clothes that she can run and play in and be a true toddler.
I have learned so much from my daughter – the last two years have been so humbling and have been a catalyst for personal growth. I think the biggest thing that Gjelina has taught me is gratitude. I am so grateful for the support that my parents and family has provided me over the years. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child and as a working mom, I have such an amazing support group. I have learned how to ask for help, accept advice and live with pure gratitude for everybody in my life that support the mom in me.
The most difficult part of being a working mom for me is the constant balancing act. I travel for work and so I find that leaving home just gets more and more difficult. I read a lot about working moms and how they balance it all. I think I am still working on it the right equation. There are times that I am so wrapped up in work that I am not the best mom and others times where I have to leave the office before I have finished a project to pick Gjelina up at school. I try to do my best to isolate time with my daughter and turn off the phone and then when I am working to really be efficient. But it is a constant balancing act, well worth every moment.
My style has morphed over the years. I have grown to love key basic fashion pieces each season. I am not part of the disposal fashion movement; I would like to think that I am drawn to the classics. It could be the size of my closet (very small), but I have a one-in /one-out policy and I am very picky about what gets added to the collection. I always consult with my stylist, my sister when it comes to big purchases!
I believe in the basics, for example – a great white button down shirt paired with a cashmere sweater and the season’s latest dark denim. Needless to say, my closet is mostly black, gray, navy and white.
I am willing to pay more for quality craftsmanship and materials, and to complete the look the new favorite pair of heels or booties. I am that girl that will wear a pair of heels on a 10-foot ladder.
I used to think I wanted to wear a power suite everyday, but truth be told, I am jeans and sweater girl who on occasions will throw on a maxi dress or bubble skirt. I travel all the time, so I love layer pieces that can be thrown in a bag and re-purposed for a day walking the sales floor merchandising or dressed up for business dinner depending on the need. I always carry on – so space is limited and only the best make the cut.
I pair everything with the newest UGG boots, heels, flats and even sandals. I own very few shoes that are not UGG, just a pair of Converse, Nike Frees and my Rag and Bone Booties. My time spent in fashion has taught me an extra love for accessories, jewelry, scarves, hats, jackets and just about everything and anything that can be thrown on to set you apart from the crowd.
Last year I decided that I wanted to push a creative medium that was fast becoming part of mass media – it was time to launch a blog.”
It took a bit of time, but I am excited about my next creative venture, the launch of a true lifestyle blog – Blonded byStyle with my best friend (my sister!). My sister will focus on the travel and style that is rooted in her relaxed street look. She spends her days chasing the snow all over Europe in the winter and bouncing between San Francisco and Park City in the summers. She is always on the quest for the best denim and has been approached to be personal stylist more than once. In fact she is my personal stylist and the one person I consult on almost every purchase.
My world travels have left me on the ‘hunt’, always looking for treasures for the home. My personal style is defined by furniture and home pieces that have a history and a story. I am not afraid to rescue a chandler from a dumpster or a stool on the street corner if it speak to me. Blonded ByStyle will be a place where we can bring a bit of creative passion for ‘style’ in every aspect of life.
I believe that my inspiration comes from a wealth of experiences; I have been lucky enough to live. It comes from my parents dragging me to every art show in every city we every visited. It comes from the latest concert under the stars with my husband. It comes from strolling down the street with my daughter slow enough to peek in window and see something that I must have in my life.
Or at the Sunday at Antique market hunting for my next project. It even can be found in a dinner party for 12 close friends were I spend hours cooking and getting lost in the color of beets.
Being inspired is something that lives within me. There are times when I have to drag it out because I get caught in the routine of life and stop looking to be inspired. But as an artist, it is my job to be inspired and so I hold onto events, people and places that inspire me visiting them often and taking pieces of them with me on this journey.
This is what I love most about you Zoe, your ability to dig deep and look for more in life. I am continually inspired and excited to see where your newest endeavor takes you.
A Day in the Life
|My days are anything but routine. I am working with teams in over a dozen time zones. And so, I tend to work late with the Asia team and I am up early with my teams from Europe.
I do try to disconnect between 5:30 – 8:30 to make dinner and spend quality time with my daughter. It is difficult to turn off the phone and ignore the emails, but it is important for me to be in the moment with Gjelina and be present as a mom.
I travel 8 – 10 days a month and it is not uncommon for me to put Gjelina down for bed, and then, jump on a red-eye or leave the house in the early AM. Two days a week, I try to drop Gjelina off at school. And at least three nights a week, I cook dinner and we sit down as a family. And everything changes week to week.
|Last week I flew to Las Vegas on Tuesday night, and then, straight to Hawaii on Wednesday night. At times it gets a bit exhausting, but my husband and Gjelina are truly best friends and I credit that relationship to the time they have spend together while I have been on the road.
On weekends, I work on my lifestyle blog Blonded By Style. It has been a great creative outlet and learning experience. I dress Gjelina up for fun fashion segments around town or I cook a big dinner for friends to test out a new recipe. The blog encompasses everything I love to do and I get to do it with my family.