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A Visit with Vanessa Gualy

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Photography by Cameron Jordan 

[Vanessa is wearing the Sage Odine Jumpsuit]

I got an email in my inbox one day from a customer who came across our dresses at Crossroads. She loved the pieces she found so much that she dragged her boyfriend, now husband, all over town; stopping at every Crossroads just so she could find some more. In her email, she mentioned how obsessed she was with our prints and fabrication then realized our office was in LA. Her birthday was coming up so she asked if she could stop by to pick something out. At the time we didn't have the flagship store yet, so we rarely had customers come to the office but I thought, "hey why not? its her birthday!"  When Vanessa walked in, it was an instant connection; it was like we had been friends for ages. Fast forward some years and now we are like family, even our extended families have become close. 

Vanessa is one of the most passionate people I know. She lives her life with clear intentions and manifests her dreams like no other. When she says she is going to do something I never doubt that she will achieve it seamlessly. I love my gem of a friend so dearly and feel so blessed that we "crossed roads" in this lifetime!

- Belinda Kazanci

 

How did you get started?

Intention and fate.  With born entrepreneurial spirit, I was developing a plan to start my own venture when my sister and I decided to meet our new neighbors.  We knocked on their door with a wine bottle and glasses in hand.  This is how I initially met Jenna Hipp, founder of her namesake product line, clean beauty expert and celebrity nail stylist - my business partner of 10 years.   When Jenna and I began working together, our first thought was that we were going to help each other with our individual businesses, however, that thought merely lasted 3 days because a better idea became crystal clear.  Our synergy was off the charts.  We both recognized this immediately and decided to join forces for good.  This was the start of Nailing Hollywood

 

What are some challenges you have faced?

Things move faster now than ever and with it there’s ever present change. The industry and market are vastly different from when we started 10 years ago so the challenge is constant adjustment.  In the last decade, we’ve also become mothers so we’ve had to maneuver a changing business with a complete shift in our personal lives.  Fortunately, Jenna and I, both Aries, thrive on change and forward movement so although a challenge, this is one we’ve fully embraced.

 

[Vanessa is wearing the Lola Dress in Ash Batik]

 

What are some factors that have helped you become successful?
The key factor of my success has been Jenna Hipp and our partnership.  I don’t do it all on my own and I am so utterly grateful to have a someone to share this journey with in all its cycles.  Our mutual success is immensely due to phenomenal women working together and supporting one another.  At Nailing Hollywood, we are women run and fully women powered.  Every artist on our team is an exemplary woman following her personal vision and individual talent but also rising to collaborate as a team.  Our work environment is active in lifting each other up. 
 

What advice would you give to young women that want to be successful?
Just START.  So many times we are waiting for the time to come, or the right thing to line up,  or the sign that says 'go' but here’s the thing:  If you move in the direction of what you ultimately desire, it will unfold.  The waiting and wanting to perfect the timing of it all can be paralyzing.   The antidote to this is action and actively engaging in creating it.
 

[Vanessa is wearing the Talar Dress in Blue Gili]

 
Why do you wear Bel Kazan?
Anyone who knows me knows that Bel Kazan is singularly my favorite.  It’s everything about the brand.  From the energy and artistry of the creator, Belinda Kazanci, to her commitment to ethical manufacturing and sustainable business, her clothes feel good through and through.  I’m print obsessed and Bel Kazan handmade prints are captivating and addictive.  Wearable art.  The clincher is the fabric: Bel Kazan feels amazing. 
 
How would you describe your personal style?
I look like I’m always on vacation…. I love clothes that move and feel delicious.  I favor one piece items so jumpsuits, rompers and dresses are my standbys.  If I travel, I take a dress a day.
 

[Vanessa in the San Juan Tank and Blue Net Saigon Pants]

 

Who has been your greatest influence/inspiration and why?
My parents shaped me.  Better said, my parent’s LOVE shaped me.  I grew up in a family that regarded love as the alpha and omega in life and this has been paramount in creating my world view and in turn, the very thing I strive to impart on my daughters.  Love is the greatest influence.

 

Give us 2 fun facts about you:
  1. I'd make a great detective - my gut instinct coupled with my perceptive and observant eye to detail can hone in quickly.
  2. I've designed the home of a well known actor.

    [Vanessa wearing the Cordoba Top and Chestnut Temple Bennett Skirt]

    How would you describe yourself in three words?
    More fully described in four:
    Creator.  Intuitive.  Edited.  Motivated by love.  
     
    You're a busy Mama!  What do you do to have fun and relax?
    Self care is vital.  Massage, acupuncture, essential oils, workshops, etc.  If it’s in the holistic wellness realm, I’m probably into it. For me, learning charges my battery so I wind down by tuning into something that interests me.  Fun for me is being surrounded by the people I love enjoying life, food and happiness.
     

    [Vanessa in the Onyx Tree Print Harper Dress]

     

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