Kathy Ireland & Nicholas Walker – Interiors.net Exclusive

Kathy Ireland & Nicholas Walker – Interiors.net Exclusive

GS: This is Interiors.net reporter Grace Stokes and it is my absolute pleasure to be here today with Kathy Ireland, Chief Designer and CEO of kathy ireland Worldwide® (kiWW®) and Nicholas Walker, Design Ambassador of kiWW®!

Swimsuit model, actress, entrepreneur and author, Kathy Ireland is one of most famous supermodels of the 80’s. She’s graced the cover of Sports Illustrated 13 times and later launched one of the most powerful licensed brands in the world from her kitchen table. kiWW® has morphed into what Forbes has called a “$1.4 billion a year design empire” and ABC news recently reported that Kathy’s company is expected to rake in 2 billion in sales this year. Whatever the actual number in billions may be, Kathy’s success is surely no accident. Her entrepreneurial spirit first surfaced at the age of 4 when Kathy and her sister painted and sold rocks from their little red wagon.

Kathy now lends her name to about 15,000 different products. There’s Kathy Ireland furniture, dishes, tables, carpets, rugs, lamps, floor tiles, window replacements and even temporary tattoos. Kathy’s mission is, “…finding solutions for families, especially busy moms”, yet you won’t find Kathy putting her name on just any product. She values the effect that her products have on people and on the environment. She’s an active member of the Sustainable Furnishings Counsel, an organization which promotes sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. By recognizing the overwhelming scientific consensus that our world is experiencing dangerous global climate change, members acknowledge the tremendous urgency, and take immediate steps to minimize carbon emissions, waste stream pollutants, un-recyclable content and primary materials from unsustainable sources from any product platform under their control.

GS: “Kathy, long before global warming became a hot topic, you started your company with a line of athletic socks made from recycled materials. When did you become so concerned about the environment and sustainability?”

KI: I just feel that we all share that responsibility. When I was a kid one of my favorite books was Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, it had such an impact. Do you know the story? The evil ones lurk, chop down all the trees and the swami-swans have no place to live. There are no fish to fish, factories are clumpiting and clompiting up everything. The story really had a lasting impact on me.

I worked for the last century as a model, I had a great education, modeling was not part of my plan, and the entire time I was trying and failing at businesses. Part of that process was meeting people who didn’t share my values, and finding people who did.

Nicholas Walker, who is amazing and really keeps our team accountable, is just extraordinary! He’s a world renowned landscaper, his work is featured in Architectural Digest, he’s been on Oprah, he’s just amazing! He really brings authenticity and integrity to our brand, and to his brand, Jardin™. So it’s about people, we work with great people and there were some that I met that care about environmental issues, about animal cruelty, and so we work with them. We stared our brand with a pair of socks and one of the things that was intriguing about these partners, potential new partners, and these manufacturers was that the socks were made out of recycled soda pop bottles. I loved that! And, people gave us so much grief. They laughed in our faces and people said to me, “You can’t start a brand with a pair of socks. This is a stupid idea!”, and they didn’t understand. Some people thought I was just putting my name on a product, and they didn’t understand that I had spent my money, rather than on fancy clothes or cars, I was investing in a team, investing in people, to see what we could bring to products. I invested in people that have gifts that I don’t have; art director; creative director; vision strategists, and experts in marketing and production. Doing that is important to me. Although there’s nothing wrong with endorsing something and putting your name on something it’s just not our path and for me that wouldn’t help me with our desire to make sure that our products are sustainable. To be able to have that control, to be able to ask the tough questions and demand the tough answers, to go to the factories and find out what’s being done.

GS: Do you think you could do more?

KI: Can we do more? Absolutely we can! The more that we dig into it, the more that I see that we are not doing what we need to do to get better. We are on it! Nicholas is crackin’ that whip on us and we love him for it! It’s great! We need that!

GS to NW: So you are her accountability partner?

NW: Her watchdog, Yes!

KI: …and our Design Ambassador. Nicholas has a complete line of products from furnishings to…

NW: …well the whole philosophy of Jardin™ is to bring the outdoors in, so we have top of bed accessories for example, were we have a beautiful replicate of a blossom, it’s a bed, but it’s inspired by a magnolia blossom. We have candles that are made in America, supporting American farmers, that are soy based candles so it’s all sustainable. It’s a great product, it burns clean and you bring in scents from the outdoors so you have say an orange blossom that people love outside so we bring it inside.

GS: Many of your products are for the home, and you’ve branded other products as well.

NW: Yes, we have jewelry where we go out in nature or in history, we have the olive branch which is the symbolism of peace and we have the laurel branch and that has biblical anchors it goes way back to biblical times that’s reflected in the actual very well selling piece of jewelry by Jardin™. We have lighting floor covering, rugs, it goes on and on.

GS to NW: It must be very exciting to be a part of a company that is successful and remains in touch with nature.

NW: Yes and not just with nature but in touch with the world. Kathy has developed and brought 8 style guides to our customers. You basically go through the whole world starting in the island of Hawaii, you got, Aloha, Americana, Architectural Style Guide, European Country, Russian Style, Farm Industries, Ivory Coast and if you go through all of them it’s based in present with my world, Jardin™, it’s based with the gardens of the world.

GS: Where can our viewers find the kiWW style guides?

NW: So if you go to our website http://kathyireland.com/style-guides/ it’s an informational educational communicative base; giving back to our customers; our philosophies, our solutions and Kathy has charged us all with really listening to the customer, she is our best teacher, our best coach, our best critique and basically is our free marketing feedback.

GS: Kathy, can you tell us more about the books you’ve written?

KI: Certainly! The most recent book is Real Solutions for Busy Moms, our guide to success and sanity. I really believe all moms work whether they get paid or not. I mean it is the toughest most important job there is and often times it doesn’t receive proper empathy or respect because a paycheck is not attached. Being of service to busy moms everywhere is a passion of mine. My first book is called Powerful Inspirations, 8 Lessons that will change your life. I learned these lessons the hard way and I’ve written some children’s books as well. I am now in the process of writing a book with the CTO of IBM on technology: Making it real, bringing technology to the 21st century, to people, to entrepreneurs, whether they are building an organization or a traditional business, it can be intimidating to people and what I’ve gone through, what I’ve experienced , what our retail partners are going through, family businesses for generations and the need to get on board with technology and how that helps us with sustainability as well, these are really powerful tools. And, Don Campbell CTO of IBM, he is just a genius, and so to be able to work with him to make it real so that it is not intimidating, so that we can all get it and understand it.

GS: Seems like you are covering all areas, technology, sustainability, interior design, and you provide solutions for just about everything. What do you do in your free time to relax?

KI: Nicholas and I were just talking about that. We both have our own families and kids and spending time with the family and with my kids, that’s really my greatest joy.

GS: Do you talk about that in your books, about your busy schedule, about how you make time to spend with your kids?

KI: I do, I really do I mean I talk about in my most recent book, Real Solutions, and I’ve got to preface it by saying; “It is so much easier to give advice then to take advice and I don’t always take my own advice!“ It’s a daily struggle, it really is. Someone recently asked me “How do you have such balance in your life?”, and I say, “Who said that I have balance? Where’d you get that idea?” Every day is different but I really believe that each person has to figure out what their values are. For me, it’s my faith, it’s my family, and then it’s being of service through our business. When those priorities are not honored and are not in order, it’s a disaster! Stress gets unmanageable and it just doesn’t work. Figure out what your values are and put boundaries in place to protect them. We were talking about sustainability, think of what your values are. There are people who will try to get you to conform just to compromise for a dollar and to compromise your integrity. That is not living a dream, it’s living a nightmare! I just really encourage people to really stop and think, to stop and ask themselves “What is important to me?”

GS: Kathy you certainly have a lot of insight to share with people, where can we buy your books and products?

KI: We do not directly sell anything on our website we are a communication channel but we have dealer locators so
http://kathyireland.com is a good source to go to.

Mariel Hemingway’s Life – Embracing Choices

Mariel Hemingway’s Life – Embracing Choices

Story by Grace Stokes

Mariel Hemingway, author, actress, and celebrity environmentalist is practicing what she preaches by renovating her kitchen and bath under the helm of Healthy Child Healthy World and has selected Cambria Quartz Countertops for her Kitchen and Bath. Mariel, a Cambria advocate since 2010, tells interiors.net that she’s thrilled to finally have a kitchen that uses products that are not harmful to her and her family. “The reason that I like Cambria is that it’s American Made, it’s sustainable, it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals, has zero emissions and is safe for the environment.” Caring about the environment is more than Mariel’s passion, it’s her way of life. As an avid spokesperson for health and wellness, Mariel has penned three books and led wellness workshops throughout the nation promoting healthy lifestyles. Mariel and her partner Bobby Williams are launching TheWillingWay.com this summer to “help people live better, be more in tune with themselves, those around them and their environment in a way that makes them want to celebrate who and what they are.”

The Will and Way! Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams will Launch TheWillingWay.com this summer.

The Will and Way  – Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams will Launch TheWillingWay.com this summer.


“Many people ask me when I became so passionate about wellness, about the environment but wellness is my way of life and it always has been. Wellness is everything from the food we eat, to the company we keep, it’s the products we use. It’s about being aware of the world around us, you know nature is our teacher and nature is beautiful and I’ve always been surrounded by nature. ”  Mariel says there never was a time when she suddenly became concerned about the environment and living well. It’s just something her and her family have lived for generations. She grew up on the family farm, nestled in the beautiful landscapes of Ketchum, Idaho, surrounded by nature and the legacy of her Nobel Prize winning grandfather Ernest Hemingway. Part of her teen years were spent living in New York City pursuing her acting career but Mariel never lost touch with her love of nature because she gravitates to it wherever she is. “I get in touch with nature everyday and I feel that everyone else should too. No matter where you are, even in a big city you can find a patch of grass take your shoes off and get in touch with nature!” and, “Anyone can be an environmentalist”, she adds, “many people think it’s a lot of work but it’s not. Being an environmentalist can be as easy as getting your fruits and vegetables from your local farmers market. Most of us don’t even know this but the majority of us live within five miles of a farmers market!” (cont’d)

Mariel Hemingway’s Book signing June 2011 – The Author has penned 3 books on Wellness.

Mariel Hemingway’s Book signing June 2011 – The Author has penned 3 books on Wellness.


Finding Balance

(cont’d) Mariel Hemingway is a bonafide Yogi and believes that our own discovery of what keeps us balanced can improve our lives and the lives of others. She has written several books on the subject: “Finding My Balance”, “Healthy Living from the Inside Out” and a cookbook “Mariel’s Kitchen: Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life”. Though she feels that she was born an environmentalist, Mariel says that she had to try many things before finding her right balance, to her it’s an ongoing process.” I was a vegetarian for some time, but found it made me feel off balance, but Bobby is into that, he does the raw food, and I do eat meat now because I felt my body needed it. I only buy meat from farms that I know and that I know take care to raise animals that are cared for and unharmed during their life, and it’s honored and respected, I eat it with honor and respect. I value what I eat and where it comes from and what it does for me.” She shared more on finding her balance, stating, “I tried the alkaline water for a long while but for me, I realized that since I already eat alkaline foods, fresh fruits and vegetables,  I found that I didn’t need alkaline water anymore, but I think it’s fine for someone who needs it.” I asked Mariel what we could all do to find more balance in our own Kitchen and Mariel says “anyone who has a microwave shouldn’t cook food in it!” She tells me that microwaves change food on a molecular level, leaving it worthless for consumption. She feels the kitchen is the soul of our wellness and making sure that our kitchens are safe and healthy for our families can contribute to the balance we need. What else can we do? Mariel advises,  “Anyone who can buy Cambria Quartz countertops for their kitchen, should!”

Cambria Quartz

Mariel Hemingway is renovating her kitchen and bath with Cambria Quartz.

cambria bath
Cambria for the Kitchen Choosing Cambria Quartz is a decision consumers can feel good about.   Quartz is a natural stone that comes from the earth and Cambria is the only manufacturer of quartz countertops in the United States. Most granite and marble gets imported to the U.S. from Xiamen, China’s billion dollar a year stone industry. Even Calcutta Marble gets imported from China. Lawmakers have only just begun implementing  a new “Environmental Act” this year on China that will require labeling of their product’s carbon footprint. But, Cambria on the other hand, is a family owned company which has implimented high standards of their own. They meet their product’s carbon footprint requirements by law and have been doing so since they opened their Le Sueur, Minnesota plant. There they also recycle and recover 100 percent of the water used in its production processes through unique settling and filtering techniques.  Cambria for the Shower You won’t find Cambria quartz in the “Big Box” stores but they do have a select group of partners dedicated to quality and customer service. “Our retail partners get a high-value brand that mass retailers can’t touch,” a Cambria exec told us, “Cambria is elated with the response we have gotten from interior designers regarding our newest colors in the Waterstone Collection.  Our research and development team tapped the minds of the nation’s hottest interior designers to see what they wanted in new colors from Cambria – the need for the look of granite and marble, but with the performance benefits of Cambria Quartz.  Cambria is proud to lead the pack when it comes to cutting-edge color innovation.”

…part of our health and wellness is beauty. –  Mariel Hemingway

Cambria Quartz has hundreds of colors to choose from. Which ones will Mariel be using in her renovation? Mariel Hemingway tells us she likes several of the earthy brown tones from Cambria’s new Waterstone Collection but she hasn’t yet committed to the exact color schemes. “I do like Cambria because it’s good for the environment but really part of our health and wellness is beauty. I was able to mix and match Cambria colors, it was exciting and it’s going to be beautiful!” says Mariel,  ”One of the great things about the products that I represent or anything that I do in my life is that it represents kind of something of nature, you know nature is beautiful, nature is our teacher and that’s where my passion comes out. It is my connection, my lifestyle, how to eat, how to live, what to say. But it all comes down to the same things,” she adds, ” it really comes down to how much you love yourself. Whether you make good choices at home is about how much you love yourself and it really means that you care about life and your products.”

For more info about Mariel Hemingway you can visit Mariel’s website also Visit CambriaQuartz.com to learn more about  their residential and commercial product lines.


Stacy Wolff – HP Modern Design Notebooks

Stacy Wolff – HP Modern Design Notebooks

Stacy Wolff, Lead Designer at HP, met with me to lend us some insight into how HP’s collaborations with designers like Vivienne Tam and Tord Boontje allow his team to deliver advanced-technology HP notebooks that also double as high-end fashion accessories and modern design accents for our homes.

Grace Stokes Interviews Stacy Wolff, Lead Designer at HP



 Stacy Wolff , Lead Designer at HP tells our interiors.net reporter about his personal favorite HP product:


Vivienne Tam’s Peony “Digital Clutch”  Mini HP Laptop,
a modern design notebook and high fashion accessory.

HP mini 1000 Vivienne Tam “Butterfly” Edition

Learn more about owning the style found only in HP notebooks.

Zem Joaquin and Mariel Hemingway – Fabulous Insight

Zem Joaquin, CEO of ecofabulous and Mariel Hemingway delivering fabulous insight from the Sustainability Stage:

Zem Joaquin, CEO of ecofabulous – Interiors.net Exclusive

I sat down with sustainability expert Zem Joaquin CEO of ecofabulous to learn more about what she does. Zem is the former eco-editor for House & Garden, Domino and 7×7 magazines. She is the current eco-lifestyle expert
for eBay, eco-luxury specialist for Planet Green’s Alter Eco and a green icon on The Huffington Post. Mentored by
William McDonough, she sits on the board of Global Green USA, Healthy Child Healthy World, Teens Turning Green, and The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. In other words, the girl knows green!

In this Interiors.net exclusive interview, Zem tells us about her latest creation, ecofabulous Modern Living showhouse, explains more about her Cradle to Cradle passion and fills us in on what we all can do to make our own homes a little more ecofabulous!

The ecofabulous home represents a real life example of not only what we can do now to lead more eco-conscience lives but Zem and her team have successfully planted a seed for the future in modern design. Her concept is safe for the environment without compromising beauty…Read more about what’s inside this home and how you can own it here.

Watch the interview here:

Zem tells of the MODERN LIVING Home EBAY auction,
and shares advice on the one simple thing we can all do
to make a tremendous impact on our environment and our health.

Don’t Miss:
Zem and Mariel Hemingway delivering fabulous insight from the Sustainability Stage Watch it here:

Modern Living Showhouse by Zem Joaquin

interiors.net exclusive – Grace Stokes interviews ecofabulous CEO Zem Joaquin:

The Modern Living pre-fab home is a one-of-a-kind green designer home by Zem Joaquin CEO of ecofabulous. The home represents a real life example of not only what we can do now to lead more eco-conscience lives but Zem and her team have successfully planted a seed for the future in modern design. Her concept is safe for the environment without compromising beauty. In true ecofabulous fashion, the modular home will go up for auction on eBay Giving Works with proceeds benefitting Global Green USA The auction ends mid July.

Highlights of the MODERN LIVING Showhouse include:
• Energy-efficient kitchen appliances with European heritage from Electrolux ICON®
• Water-saving and stylish laundry appliances from Electrolux
• Kitchen stocked with O Organics™ products (2 oz. samples available during the show)
• Bright Green™ cleaning line made with naturally derived and biodegradable ingredients
• Cutting edge FSC certified bio-composite exterior cladding material from EcoClad
• Precision windows and doors from Western Window Systems
• MechoShade Cradle to Cradle Certified solar shadecloths
• Stylish and eco-friendly real cork floors from Wicanders
• A selection of high-end sustainable, repurposed and vintage furniture from HD Buttercup
• 100% natural rubber latex mattress and pillows from Organic Mattresses, Inc.
• Coyuchi’s luxurious 100% organic cotton bedding and bath linens
• IceStone® sustainable countertop made from 100% recycled glass and concrete
• Eco-friendly cabinets by Neil Kelly featuring rapidly renewable Plyboo material
• Closet styled by eco-fashion pioneer Linda Loudermilk
• Lumens LED lighting technology in a variety of sophisticated forms
• Beautiful recycled glass tile and recycled content grout from Modwalls
• Caroma leading high-efficiency, dual flush toilet and bathroom sink
• Sustainable Solutions International deep stainless steel kitchen sink
• Environmentally sensitive and water-efficient faucets and fixtures from Brizo
• Sustainable landscaping by Shades of Green
• Chicken coop display from 100 x Better
• Beehive collaboration from Walker Rollins of 100 x Better & Riiska Design
• FSC certified decking tiles from Eco Arbor Decking

Without a doubt, ecofabulous’s Modern Living showhouse takes the prize as our favorite. Bidding on the Showhouse is available through eBay Giving Works

“Modern Living Showhouse is an embodiment of how I like to live.”
– Zem

Watch our Interview with Zem’s MODERN LIVING Home EBAY auction as she shares advice on the one simple thing we can all do to make a tremendous impact on our environment and our health.

Zem Joaquin speaks with Grace Stokes of interiors.net about ecobulous’ Modern LIVING HOME going up for sale on ebay.

Studying Reinvented

Studying Reinvented

Think you have no room for a study space? Then think again!
This brilliant collection by Resource Furniture adds a new dimension to how you can study by allowing you the ability to harness time and space in a way that even Einstein would envy!

see the Cabrio in action:

Resource Furniture’s extensive line of high quality furnishings are convertible, look good and make study time both productive and more meaningful than ever before. This brilliant collection adds a new dimension to how you can study by allowing you the ability to harness time and space in a way that even Einstein would envy! The endless configuration options are truly customizable and put everything you’ll need at arms reach leaving plenty of room leftover for your social universe.

Interiors.net honed in on Resource Funiture’s Cabrio In to show how the proper use of your space and time can reinvent the way you study:

The Cabrio In by Resource Furniture offers two space saving configurations. For daytime, the Cabrio In consists of a seven foot desktop, which provides ample workspace. Then, by simply pulling up on the desktop and without having to remove a single object, a special piston-operated mechanism transforms the Cabrio into a twin bed. This convertible space has you covered! Now just add in the side configurations to fit your needs. The space saving line has an option to add customized bookshelves, drawers, closets and whatever else you will need in your study space. Study books and night time reading can now be stored on the same bookshelf with easy access when you need it. You’ll be able to get rid of that extra docking station for your iPad or mobile phone,with this convertible configuration redundency is eliminated, putting more of what you use most in to a convenient place.

“The beauty of this piece is the solution it provides a number of people,” said Ron Barth, President and Co-founder, Resource Furniture. “The seven foot desk provides enough space for two children to do homework. Or, if you’re a grad student, crammed into a small apartment or dorm the transition from worktime to bedtime is effortless.”

The engineering behind the Cabrio allows for ease of operation and seamless transformation. Whether it’s a laptop, notebook, pens, iPad, cell phone or all of the above, the user need not worry about having to move anything before lifting the desktop to reveal the bed. It’s as effortless as using one’s fingertips to make the transformation.

Designed not only to provide a solution, but comfort as well with the mattress, which is available in different material options. As with all of Resoruce Furniture’s space-saving products, numerous options for customization with colors, finishes, fabrics and cabinet configurations.

The Cabrio In is just one of the many products by Resource Furniture.
Here is another Interiors.net Favorite from their Poppi Board collection:

Resource Furniture Poppi Board collection

Poppi Board Night

Convertible Combinations

You can check out more of their smart solutions by visiting their website at www.ResourceFurniture.com

Story by: Grace Stokes