February 26, 2011

Branding Package: The Magic Cocoon

It is my pleasure to introduce the branding package for The Magic Cocoon, an new spin on nesting, new motherhood, and creating intentional space for mothers and babies. The brand evolved from the client's desire to evoke a feeling of being enveloped, and was inspired by the interior of a silkworm cocoon.
It has been a pleasure to coordinate the design and execution of this brand, created by the talented graphic team at Biscuit Studios, LLC.

February 12, 2011

Authentic Pilates Strengthens Body and Spirit

Like many people we in Sarasota affectionately call “snowbirds,” 24 year old Liebelei Elena Lawrence enjoys the February Florida sunrise. But she’s not viewing it from a beachside condo; three times a week, diligently and without fail, Lawrence is leing her Pilates Personal Training session with Christina Gadar, just as the sun comes up.

Liebelei Elena Lawrence is a professional golfer with the Ladies European Tour who has been golfing since age 10 and now has a handicap of +1.6. She takes her training very seriously, and has tried several different exercise regimens for staying ready for the game. “As a professional golfer, I have spent countless hours in gyms with personal trainers but none have produced the results that Christina has,” says Lawrence. “Pilates is miraculous for golfers as it is, but you only get the full benefit if you have a good instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly.”


Pilates is a proven and acclaimed conditioning program that has helped people strengthen and empower their bodies since the 1920's. The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning was developed by fitness visionary Joseph H. Pilates. He called his method "Contrology," or the art of control. He emphasized the importance of integrating mindfulness into exercise to increase muscle control: a revolutionary idea in the early 1900's.

Pilates is based on a series of controlled movements performed on spring-based equipment and specifically sequenced mat exercises. It is a full body exercise system that strengthens the abdomen, buttocks, lower back, and inner thigh region. By strengthening these muscle groups, those who practice Pilates notice improvements in posture, energy, flexibility, balance, strength, stamina and muscle tone. Pilates is predicated on six principles: control, concentration, body alignment, precision, correct breathing, and flowing movement.


People engaged in a routine Pilates exercise regimen experience increased flexibility and control; uniformly developed strong, lean muscles; improved posture, coordination and balance; increased energy and stamina; and invigorated mind and elevated spirit.

“Imagine an exercise program you look forward to, that engages you, leaving you refreshed and alert with a feeling of physical and mental well-being,” says Personal Pilates Trainer Christina Gadar. “The Pilates Method of physical and mental conditioning will do all of this, and more.”


Pilates was designed for a broad section of the public. Men and women of every age and body type can benefit from Pilates when done correctly and consistently. From the very athletic to the sedentary, Pilates can be used as a primary exercise regimen, or as cross training for golf, tennis and more. Pilates avoids mundane and repetitive movement, making it the ideal choice in fitness for the mind, body and spirit.

“I was overweight with chronic lower back and neck pain before starting Pilates with Christina,” said Deanna, who has been practicing Pilates for 3 years. “I feel better without chronic pain and have lost over 25 pounds. I have made Pilates with Christina a place in my life forever.”

“I started Pilates with Christina shortly after having my open heart surgery),” said Ed, a decade later. “I have noticed a big improvement in my flexibility and my golf game.”

“Despite having exercise-induced asthma, my flexibility and muscle strength have shown tremendous improvement,” said Donn, a client of Christina Gadar’s for four years. “My doctors confirm that my physical condition improves every year, and I am now in the top 15% of men my age for overall physical condition, including cardio-vascular metrics.”

“As a result of Christina’s instruction and my resulting core strength, my significant scoliosis pain has continued to lessen,” said Holmes, a Pilates client for over 3 years.


Christina is a second generation Pilates instructor, having been certified by Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates' hand chosen protégé, in 2000. She now owns and operates a fully equipped Pilates studio in Sarasota, complete with top of the line equipment based on Joseph Pilates’ original designs.

Gadar began her Pilates certification under the tutelage of certified teacher trainer Roxane Murata before obtaining full certification from master instructor Romana Kryzanowska in New York. In addition to yearly continuing education seminars, Gadar schedules trips throughout the United States to study with master Pilates teachers and teacher trainers.

“My dual citizenship with Brazil and the United States gives me the opportunity to schedule visits to the Pilates Studio of Brazil, where Romana (Kryzanowska) guest teaches every year,” says Gadar, who was introduced to the Pilates method at the age of fifteen while a student at the Boston Ballet. “My years of dance training have given me a better understanding of correct body alignment and body mechanics.”

“My goal is to preserve the integrity of Joseph Pilates' original vision of physical and mental conditioning while constructing creative workouts tailored to the individual,” says Gadar. “I love what I do and it brings me a lot of satisfaction to share the benefits of Pilates with others.”
For Liebelei Elena Lawrence, Pilates has become a way of life. “I have become infinitely stronger and more flexible through my sessions with Christina and owe a great deal of the improvement in my game to her.”

For more information about Pilates Personal Training with Christina Gadar, please call (941) 955-3800, or visit www.pilatespersonaltraining.com.
About Pilates Personal Training with Christina Gadar: Christina Maria Gadar has been providing top quality Pilates instruction in Sarasota, Florida since 2000. Christina’s fully equipped Pilates studio features the very best equipment in a comfortable and private setting. Proper choice of instructor and equipment is absolutely essential for success in Pilates. Private lessons last 55 minutes and are available Monday through Friday by appointment only. Christina’s studio is conveniently located near Sarasota Memorial Hospital, between the Siesta beaches and downtown Sarasota. For more information, please call (941) 955-3800, or visit www.pilatespersonaltraining.com.

February 09, 2011

LYF Bags Host Launch Party February 25th

A new line of backpacks and messenger bags is making waves from the Cayman Islands to the Bahamas and across the eastern seaboard, and they’re being handmade right here on the Suncoast. On February 25th, Sarasota will take its first look at the inaugural line of LYF Bags and Accessories at their Launch Party and Trunk Show, being held at Marmalade Salon and Boutique from 7:00-9:00pm.

LYF founders Jenna DiLorenzo and Nicky Mayforth introduced their military-inspired beach bags at the 2011 Surf Expo in Orlando in January, and the response was overwhelming. “We were optimistic, but we had no idea that so many amazing stores would jump at the chance to carry our line,” says Nicky. “It’s been humbling and terribly exciting at the same time.” LYF Bags and Accessories can be seen this spring in boutiques and surf shops in Grand Cayman, Nassau, Hilton Head, Asbury Park, Montauk and many points in between. The hot backpacks and messenger bags will also be right at home in Sarasota at L. Boutique on Pineapple Avenue.

Each LYF backpack and messenger bag features one-of-a-kind fabric placement, handcrafted embellishment, and unique personality. Currently available in six styles, LYF Bags can be used for everything from a beach day to an overnight trip, from a picnic to a working lunch, from a diaper bag to a college backpack.

The launch party and trunk show will be held at Marmalade, where Jenna and Nicky began their business partnership almost a decade ago as co-owners of the successful hair salon. Nicky received the first handmade LYF Bag from Jenna DiLorenzo five years ago when her first daughter was born, and the two have been dreaming of launching the line ever since. LYF will also be introducing their line of custom-made lightweight beach throws, designed to be used as beach blankets, scarves or sarongs.

For more information: The LYF Bags and Accessories Launch Party and Trunk Show is being held at Marmalade Salon & Boutique, 1927 Osprey Avenue, Sarasota, on Friday, February 25 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Please call (941) 914-2306, or visit www.loveyourLYF.com for details.

About LYF Bags and Accessories: Each LYF is military tough, beach chic, completely versatile and completely you. LYF Bags provide the right mix of rugged sophistication to accompany the discerning urban fashionista, the mom on the go, and the surfer girl with that bohemian vibe and gypsy soul. Your life is uniquely you. Your LYF is simply an extension of who you are.For more information, please call (941) 914-2306, or visit www.loveyourLYF.com.

February 03, 2011

12th & East to Host Artists' Reception Feb. 17th

In addition to showcasing amazing antiques and fresh, modern home accessories, 12th and East Home is introducing a collection of hand-selected custom art pieces from four local artists. On Thursday, February 17th, these artists will unveil their spring lines at a reception hosted by Sarasota’s newest home accessories boutique, located at the intersection of 12th Street and East Avenue.

The artists include Sarasota residents Dottie Baker, Marcy Chapman, Brigitta Sultana, and Anna Maria’s Robert Reiber. “Each of these artists brings such a different aesthetic to the shop; yet they each seem to fit perfectly,” says 12th and East Home owner and designer Jessica Holmes. “Together, their work makes quite a stunning collection.”


Dottie Baker has been a bead artist and teacher for the past 15 years. Her passion is bead weaving and her work frequently reflects the Victorian era. “I love the intricacy, attention to detail and the femininity of that period,” says Baker. “I find it truly a gift to earn a living doing what I love!”

Marcy Chapman has been a professional artist for over 30 years. Her work has been internationally published and sold in venues as diverse as street fairs, a New York Art Gallery, Bed Bath and Beyond stores and art auctions held on luxury cruise liners. An expert in watercolor, mixed media and collage, Chapman treats her subject matter in a modern yet realistic style. Series include flowers, landscapes and architecture to more contemporary collections of vintage hardware and industrial influences. “What can be done with the color wheel always amazes me,” says Chapman. “I enjoy following design trends and capturing those that pique my interest in some artistic form.”

Brigitta Sultana worked in New York as a graphic designer for companies such as ABC INC. Televesion, Victoria's Secret Catalogue and Elizabeth Arden. After moving to Sarasota in 2002 and ultimately becoming a freelance designer, Sultana considers her art and her daughter her top priorities. Her work consists of acrylic, collage and encaustic pieces inspired by nature, pattern, color, texture, light, and space.. “I love the feeling of the brush in my hand,” says Sultana. “It drives me to make a mark - MY mark.”

Robert Reiber is a professional artist, art teacher and renowned watercolorist known for his colorful paintings of Florida’s natural landscapes. Commercially, Robert has worked as a product designer and vendor for Beall’s Department Store and is in the collection of other major corporations. In addition to being a professional artist, Robert has dedicated nearly thirty years to the talents of young people, promoting their creativity and abilities as a high school art teacher. “I find abstract art fascinating,” says Reiber. “Until now I have worked primarily with conventional subject matter and traditional medium. But currently I have been exploring electronic technology.”

A reception to introduce four local artists will be held at 12th and East Home, where their work is being displayed and sold. The artists will introduce their spring lines on Thursday, February 17 at 5:30pm. Light refreshments will be served at the home accessories boutique and antiques warehouse, located at 1220 East Avenue North, Sarasota, Florida. For more information about 12th and East Home, please visit their website at www.12thandeasthome.com or call (941) 365-8205.

About 12th and East Home: 12th and East Home is a sophisticated home accessories showroom anchored in Sarasota, Florida. Designers Jessica Holmes and Melissa DeMore present an ever-changing collection of vintage-inspired modern accents and expertly selected consigned antiques, establishing a unique and relevant aesthetic for today’s discerning home decorator. Our showroom opened in November 2010 and is located at 1220 East Avenue North in Sarasota, Florida, or on the web at www.12thandEastHome.com.