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Leading the Pack: Kelly Lawson

Kelly Lawson

Kelly Lawson is the #girlboss behind Saint John, NB start-up, Ella – an app to let women post and sell fashion items that they no longer wear. Think fashion swap meet for the iPhone age. She has also recently opened an accompanying physical shop where sellers can drop off pieces for interested buyers to check out. No more awkward meetings and coffee shop bathroom try on sessions. I caught up with Kelly in between business trips to find out more about her travel style.

Roll, fold, scrunch or stuff? What’s your packing method?

Fold. I like to keep wrinkles to a minimum and I feel like the whole rolling thing is a space saving illusion. Except for rolling things to stuff inside boots and shoes. I do that.

Carry-on or checked bag?

Carry-on 900%! What a liberating decision it was the day I challenged myself to travel using only a carry on. I love doing the “booya!” walk past all of the long baggage claim lineups.

Do you travel for work or pleasure?

The last time  I traveled for pleasure was before my son was born He is 4 now. I think it’s time. Otherwise I do travel a lot for work. Over the past year I have travelled to Toronto and NYC almost monthly.

What’s your favourite souvenir?

My husband went to the middle east for work a couple of years ago. When I picked him up at the airport he was excitedly carrying a camel plush toy that is also a tote. It is the tackiest and absolutely cutest thing I have ever seen.

A lot of people think they need special travel clothing. How do you maintain your personal style when you travel?

I am a very monochromatic dresser as it is, so it makes light packing pretty simple. I am able to mix and match absolutely every clothing item I bring. I generally stick with a few tops (black, and creams), a blazer, jeans, black pants and a pencil skirt. Then I pack a pair of dressy shoes and comfortable shoes that also pair with any combo of the clothes I pack, and accessories are the key to dressing things up or down. Oh, and I suppose one benefit of not working out is that I dont need to pack any extra clothes for that.

Kelly LawsonWith which city/town do you identify, aesthetically?

Hands down – Saint John – the city in which I reside. She is a mix of vintage and modern, ornate yet subdued. A great mix of new + repurposed buildings. Not too fancy, but she has a touch of sophistication, and a story to tell. I love mixing vintage and pre-owned clothing with current trends. I like to create my own version of what is hot.

Do you have a favourite travel memory?

My husband and I vacationed in the Mayan Riviera before we got married. We traveled through the Mayan communities, met the families, their children, listened to their stories, shared a homemade meal. The Mayan people enjoy doing as much as they can with as little as they can. It is a breathtakingly beautiful contrast to our consumer culture. The message they wanted us to take away was that chinese imports were killing their economy. As with many small urban communities they wanted to enforce the importance of “shopping local.” My husband and I didnt have much money, in fact, we blew most of our savings just to take the trip. Later that day we were walking along “5th avenue” in Playa del Carmen, and we stumbled upon a huge wad of American cash just laying on the ground, all rolled up. We picked it up, we didn’t even count it, and without even talking to each other we entered the next local Mayan shop, put it on the counter, and left with a hand woven authentic Mayan throw. One of my favourite memories of all time.

Do your travels ever inspire you when it comes to business?

Definitely. I am in the business of fashion. I love black, all black all the time. Italy taught me that ;)

What’s in your carry-on?

A long sleeved cream chiffon blouse, a black or black and white striped turtleneck or crewneck and a rocker/band/graphic tee. A black pleather pencil skirt, black paige denim skinnies and blue distressed skinnies. Either a black grey or cream coloured blazer (I have all three). A pair of back pumps, suede over the knee boots and my michael kors loafer flats.  A light silk scarf, and a mix of gold/silver accessories. Each of those items can be paired with the other. There are at least 9 outfit combos in that arrangement, and yes it easily fits into a carryon. You’re welcome.

Do you know an inspiring travelling woman who’s doing something interesting who should be featured here? Email [email protected] and let me know.

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