Welcome to a new blog series highlighting influential women from friend to the famous. These women have a common thread of being influencers in their field and a love of the arts. Our first edition features Kim Smiley, Founder of Sapphô Jewelry and the Empathy Effect, a 365 day social experiment, and the posthumously trending Frida Kahlo. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kim in Toronto and viewing her beautiful creations. I was struck by her wide range of overflowing talents. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she, like Frida Kahlo, seems bigger than life in what she is accomplishing.

The Empathy Effect has taken Facebook by storm, her jewelry line is beautiful and charitable at the same time and that is just the tip of the iceberg. What struck me most about Kim Smiley, was her warmth and sense of “Sisterhood”. She’s one of those special people who you can connect to immediately. In a parallel universe, I believe she and Frida Kahlo would have become fast, and enduring friends.

3929_10152294413745532_573182687_n

Kim Smiley

When I was 8, I had a bright pink and red striped bathing suit. “Red and pink don’t match. You clash,” a couple of kids said. I didn’t care. Non-conformity was in my blood. Frida and I are similar that way. She had a devil may care style and sensibility that permeated everything about her: personality, philosophy and painting. High contrast, bold juxtapositions, seemingly surreal.

Frida had no limits. “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” Despite her transcendence, Frida’s feet were firmly planted in the world. She empathized deeply with everyone, perhaps because she endured so much suffering. Frida would often say, “I was born a painter.” I always felt the same way.
tumblr_n5qvelWTWX1r29g9xo1_1280

Self Portrait with “Bonito” by Frida Kahlo, 1941

Myrica Bergqvist Design

Myrica Bergqvist Design

The Layton Earrings by Sapphô Jewelry

fb47437501d72904514ca1194caff136

Frida Kahlo and Doctor Juan Farill

dez-flowers-3

Apartment 46

Shem Tov Rings by Sapphô Jewelry

livenUPdesign

livenUPdesign

James Nares

James Nares

Toronto based Innit Designs

Toronto based Innit Designs

Traditional Mexican Weaver

Traditional Mexican Weaver

Photo by Conde Nast Travel

Traditional Weaves

Kahlo's Dresses

Kahlo’s Dresses

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti

kahlo6

Me and My Parrots, 1941 by Frida Kahlo

The Altmann by Sapphô Jewelry

Temperley London

Temperley London

Temperley London Pre-Fall 2015

Temperley London

Kwinter Design

Kwinter Design

Photo by Conde Nast Travel

Traditional Weaving

styleicon012

Frida with Fresh Flowers

Valentino

Valentino

Ugo Rondinone

Ugo Rondinone

fridaportrait

Frida by Nickolas Muray

frida-3

The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened by Frida Kahlo

 

Find more inspiration at:

NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDENS TEXTILE AND GOURD CARVING DEMONSTRATIONS: ARTISANS FROM CHIAPAS AND OAXACA
August 11–20: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (exception: August 15; 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. & 4–6 p.m.)
September 10–October 12: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; Thursdays & Fridays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Women artisans from Chiapas and Oaxaca demonstrate their age-old techniques in weaving and embroidery. Using the backstrap loom, these textile artists evoke ancient motifs with natural dyes, striking a beautiful balance between traditional and contemporary. In August, visiting artisans also carve and draw graceful designs onto gourds, or jicaras, communicating their personal and communal stories of celebrations, myths, and folklore.


FRIDA KAHLO: THROUGH THE LENS OF NICKOLAS MURAY, WITH TRADITIONAL MEXICAN COSTUME FROM THE TEXTILE MUSEUM OF CANADA
Jun 10 – Sep 7, 2015

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray comprises 50 photographic portraits of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo taken by Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Muray between 1937 and 1946, capturing the exceptional breadth of Kahlo’s persona from the photographer’s unique perspective as her friend and intimate confidant. The exhibition includes pioneering color images whose lush, saturated colors highlight the elaborate wardrobe that was an intrinsic part of Kahlo’s identity during the 1930s and 40s, when political idealism and national fervor were at their height among her circle of urban intellectuals.