In the truest sense of the word, with that certain je ne sais quoi, Nicole, stylist, and mother of two, turned sustainability champion and founder of Morning Sun (a soon to open farmstand in the wake of COVID), is as stunning as they come.
Simultaneously free-spirited and grounded, sexy, and mama, this sparkling human embodies all the things we aspire to be and moves through the world with unwavering confidence. Here, as she embarks on a wild new adventure, her daily rituals, dressing sexy (always), and, of course, the jewelry she’s never without. As words go, this one’s for the books.
Long term we will all come out ready to LIVE. Less time scrolling, more time connecting. I'm sure of it. The biggest gift of all is that we have no fucking idea how long this is going to last for; it could be over tomorrow or in two years and there’s actual beauty in that. In the beginning, I was terrified by the unknown. But I’ve come to peace with it. I’m uncovering another medium, a new path, perhaps only to discover this was always my path.
My styling career has been canceled for the foreseeable future thanks to COVID and maybe it's just as well. I've worked in fashion for 20 years, starting in magazines until I witnessed the collapse of publishing. After that, we saw retail die, the art of photography be diluted by Instagram and fast fashion destroy the true beauty of quality garments and the planet! People won't stop buying clothes, but I do believe this will shift how we buy/sell/make things in positive and necessary ways.
What is this going to do to society? Certainly, I've spent many a night mindlessly looking at celebrities or Instagram influencers, but I've stopped. I'm over it. Everytime I speak with a friend, I'm reminded of the power of real conversation; it’s always more interesting than these synthetic personas. Being able to sit and talk on the phone again and have one-on-ones that's the future. Fashion was feeling the same; I had to get away from the consumerism and fallacy of it all after years of being deep in it.
Up until very recently, we were all just thoughtlessly in motion and used to doing it all, all the time, just adding, adding, adding. In the beginning, it was like you had your job and maybe you were a blogger. And then you went from having your job to being a blogger and also a photographer. Then we added having a brand and being a mom and traveling and all of a sudden you're 400 different things. The "and this" and the "and that" became a status symbol. It had to change. Society could not continue the way we were purchasing, consuming, and doing endlessly. Now, we're being forced to stop, slow down and simplify. This is going to go on for so long and the power of it is so much bigger than any of us realize. As a society, we think we're invulnerable and freedom is something we’re owed. But it's not, life here on this planet is a gift. It’s time for us all to reset, reprioritize, and refocus on what truly matters. Which is how I’ve come to find myself embarking on a whole new chapter.
Last month I discovered a plot of land with a little farm stand in the Northfork. On a whim, I decided to lease the property from the owner and put it into work as Morning Sun. For years I wanted to open a sustainable shop in NYC, but it would have never been this good. I would have been too fractured, and unfocused. I could have never given it this much love and attention, nor could my kids. We’ll see where it takes us.
The plan is to stock produce, pies, bread, cookies, ceramics, and such from local farmers, beekeepers, bakers, and soapmakers. Plus, the name in and of itself was born of hope, a reminder of the bright. When I gave birth to my daughter, dear friend and artist Joel Mesler made me a painting called Morning Son, Sister Moon. Just after I’d signed the lease for the shop, I was sitting at the dinner table staring at the painting on a dark day as the C19 numbers in NYC were murdering my soul and it hit me. We'll go toward the Morning Sun because it will always rise; we're here together, in sisterhood and brotherhood.
I’ve found some comfort in rituals, I wake up before everyone in my house and take the dog for a long run, followed by lemon water, journaling, and meditating. A lot of Morning Sun inspiration comes while I’m journaling and making to-do lists. My whole life is to-do lists. I can’t go to bed at night unless I get everything checked off or I’ve at least created a way of getting it done the next day.
Once the kids are up, the days fly by. We start breakfast and go straight into homeschooling - which oddly I love but hit me up in a month. Parenting has always come easy to me, I love it and my kids are proof of that. I'm a shit wife apparently because of the love obsession I have for my kids but figuring that balance out.
While they're doing they’re school I am sending emails to local farmers and artisans - doing everything at once, per usual. When they're done with school we usually take the dog for a hike or go to the beach. Plus we have lunch and dinner all together with the table set, which is all new. In NY we never ate together. Cooking has become an amazing part of our family dynamic here. After dinner, we watch the sunset and howl at the moon to get out pent up energy.
As things escalated in the city, we packed in a hurry and came out to our place in the Northfork. It was all so frantic, I threw stuff in a bag and for some reason I packed like I was going on a sexy vacation with some new hot guy. I have 20 silk dresses, the sexiest lingerie, and not one pair of sweatpants! On any given day I'm either decked to the nines as though I’m off to a fancy dinner with friends or like I've totally given up and pretending to go to the gym, there’s no in-between. Come summer it will be bikinis (only) and a bit of jewelry that I never take off - a few simple rings and little good luck pieces. I have a teeny tiny "L" necklace my friend Allie gave me when Luca was born that I haven’t taken off in 10 years - even during surgery I refused to take it off. Plus my “sun” necklace, my constant reminder that the sun will always rise. Although, the other day I was craving a big chunky gold piece to make myself feel a little better, so I threw that on...with a sexy slip dress.
I’m currently staring at the pages of Call Me By Your Name, but I haven't been able to get past chapter three. Usually, I read a book a week in NYC but for some reason can't right now. If I’ve learned anything in the last seven weeks, it’s to be soft and forgiving with myself. I’m so soft and forgiving with everyone else, but hard on myself. Even with working out. If I haven’t walked all my steps in a day, I’m walking in circles in my apartment to complete them. Now, I’m grateful just to be alive and healthy. Fuck the steps.Text
The truth is, all we have is RIGHT NOW. After Kobe died I had an awakening and realized I can’t protect my kids from everything. We have to live, even while stuck inside. And, we have to let people know we love them and let them love you. Plus, I find myself thinking back to so many magical days and nights. One, in particular, that will never leave me...at my wedding, I dove into the pool in my gown, and seconds later everyone was jumping in too. My mom midair in her silk and pearls with my son in the water watching in awe. I think about this every day. Hold onto the moments, the heirlooms, look forward to when we can be together again and rage all night, but most importantly live in the now.