Summer Ready

Written, Photographed, and Styled by Lynn Levoy

The onset of spring signals summer before we know it. Yes once the temperature hits 65, it’s only a matter of weeks before it’s “swimsuits and sunnies” season. Spring calls for a number of refreshes - from our hair, to our beauty products to our clothing. I also love a little wardrobe refresh for Callum, from our go-to brands, as well as new ones.

Callum and I headed to LaLa Land over Spring Break, where he was able to sneak peak some of our favorite new pieces that will have him splish-splashing in style all summer along. Check them out below.

The Animals Observatory

This is the third collaboration between Lara Aguilar, brainchild behind Bobo Choses and Jan Abdreu. The result is magic. The quality is amazing and everything is worn into perfection for that 1970’s vintage vibe. Callum especially loves the tee’s, tanks and sweatshirts, because the feel is so yummy and comfy. Everything is so  relaxed and super easy to wear.

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Green Tank and Black Socks by The Animals Observatory | Black Shorts by Beau LOves UK

Beau Loves UK

Hands down, one of my favorite brands. So cool and stylish that I wish it came in adult sizes! Inspired by the birth of her son Beau, Faye Wilde launched this unisex (yes)! line in 2010 featuring a palette of black, white and grey, always mixed with a hint of color. This season is all about love and hearts - the summer of love, indeed.

Heart Face Tee by Beau LOves UK | Black Shorts by Munster Kids

Floral Swim Shorts by Mini Rodini | Sandals by Akid


Hands down the best flip flops. Callum literally lives in them from the moment it hits 70 degrees. They come in a bunch of variations, from fur to metallic, but we also love the entire line. Akid was founded by wife and hubby duo, Ashleigh Dempster and Matt George. After their first son was born, they saw a void in the market for cook kids kicks. Thanks guys!

Mini Rodini

Founded in 2006 by illustrator Cassandra Rhodin, this Swedish label is Callum approved, namely for the creative graphics on its tees, as well as all the shorts and sweatshirts. I especially love the boy’s swim shorts, this fitted style is so hard to find so I always scoop up a bunch each season. The best part is that the fabric is made of 78% recycled polyamide, aka residual fishnets, old carpets and production waste. These fishnets would otherwise end up in the world’s oceans, trapping fish and destroying coral reefs, so that’s major!

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Floral Swim Shorts by Mini Rodini | Blue Tank by The Animals Observatory | Mama's Sunnies by Céline


Started by Julie Siden and inspired by her daughters, Sid NYC is a complete collection of tops, dresses, skirts and pants. We’re loving the vintage, one of a kind Levi’s jackets. Callum has already been rocking his, from the playground to dinner to the beach.


Denim Jacket by Sid NYC | Black Pants by Beau LOves UK

Munster Kids

This skater inspired kid’s line is based in Australia, which makes complete sense since it is all about sun and surf - PERFECT for summer. There’s a strong music influence too and Callum always loves the graphics on the tees. The shorts are super comfy, with their oh-so perfect drop crotch. Callum always feel like he’s “taking a walk on the wild side,” while still being totally adorbs.

Boom Grey Tee by Munster Kids | Shorts by The Animals Observatory

Rad Tee by Munster Kids | Love Net Shorts by Beau LOves UK

We're Bent on Bent On Learning

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White


It all began with three ladies and a passion. In 2001 Anne Desmond, Jennifer Ford and Courtney McDowell sought to follow their dream of bringing yoga to kids by teaching the practice in school gyms and classrooms. At the time they had a smattering of classes in a few public schools. Then 9/11 happened. In the wake of the unimaginable impact the event had on kids nearby, they were asked to teach yoga in 10 schools near Ground Zero to help both students and teachers release stress and manage emotions. From there, Bent on Learning formed. “It was our trigger moment,” said Anne. “We had no plan at the time but rose to the occasion and grew from there.”



Knowing what we know about the benefits of children doing yoga (read: IMMENSE), we sat down with Anne to talk through Bent on Learning and its incredible philosophy...


Bent On Learning - First, we want to reach as many children and teens as possible and schools are the most efficient way for us to do that. More importantly, we want to help schools educate students in the body and heart, as well as the mind, and offer regular opportunities to move, breathe, relax, and connect to their inner lives. Yoga readily connects students to their bodies, hearts and minds, teaches them how to release stress, control thoughts and manage their emotions. Learning these skills is equally as important as learning math and science and is critical to kids' success academically and in life.  

A Wild Dove - OK so we think the WORLD of Bent on Learning. Can you describe the program and is there a singular method or philosophy?




"Yoga helped me with asthma and it helped me focus with tests."
- Nico, 3rd Grade, PS132


"Yoga makes me feel peaceful and positive."
- Niaia, 12th Grade,
New Design High School

A Wild Dove - What are some of the differences you've seen in children who've gone through the program?

Bent On Learning - In a recent study of our program, 83% of our high school students showed significant gains in positive youth development. While most students showed improvement in self-management and positive identity, which we could expect from a weekly yoga program, the most dramatic change was seen in academic self-efficacy. Meaning that after just one semester of Bent On Learning, students with the lowest confidence in their ability to attain academic success improved the most!


A Wild Dove Is there any upcoming news or events?

Bent On Learning - We have an event on May 4th, where Ruthie Fraser will share excerpts from her book, Stack Your Bones, and offer simple lessons for body alignment, coordination and awareness that can be done anytime, anywhere. Guests will learn fun ways to befriend their bodies and move with ease throughout their lives. Here is the ticket page with all details:


A Wild Dove - What's next for Bent on Learning?

Bent On Learning - We currently have 50 schools on our waiting list and are gearing up for significant growth in the next three to five years. We are hiring a new Director of Development and will be launching a growth campaign in the very near future!


A Wild Dove - That’s incredible! So tell us, how can readers get involved and support the program?

Bent On Learning - They can visit our website at to join our mailing list or make a donation. They can also contact me directly at to share ideas on how they'd like to get involved.  We currently have openings on our board and are always looking to grow our junior board, the Yoga Professionals Committee.


find out more 

Dove Loves

Written and Styled by Lynn Levoy | Photographed by Eric White

Welcome back to Dove Loves. This time we’re taking on Lynn’s definitive guide to the beauty products she’s loving right now, her favorites du jour, the holy grail of what she’s coveting, researching, talking about, obsessing over. Consider them tried, tested and approved directly from the source of all things A Wild Dove. So let’s talk beauty.


Joanna Vargas
Rejuvenating Serum


"This product leaves my skin feeling instantly hydrated and so refreshed.  I love the way my skin feels and looks - so dewy! The scent is also a heavenly blend of Argan, Neroli, Olive Oil, which I love. I use it every morning and evening and I mix it with my other serums. I use less in the morning since it’s more oil based but in the evening I load up for nighttime rejuvenation."


The Nue CO. - Debloat Food and Prebiotic

"It’s magic. It’s a mix of ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and brown rice protein and, because it’s food based, it really works from the inside out. I use it in the morning by adding it to my smoothie, mixed with all my Sun Potions and Super Elixir. This product does exactly what it says it does - debloats. It’s’ anti-inflammatory, so it really calms your stomach."

Agent Nateur & Shiva Rose holi (Rose)

“ I have tried so many natural deodorants and this is the only one that really really works. I love the original scent too, but Shiva Rose is my favorite. I have never really liked rose products, but this one converted me and I’ve recently bought a bunch of other rose products (more to come on that).”

Natura Bissé C&C Vitamin Body Cream

“I love this cream for firming and tightening,” says Lynn. "It’s chock full of Vitamin C and the results are amazing. I really see a difference. I’m kind of obsessed with the smell too. And the orange bottle, well, it just makes me happy. It’s a perfect day cream since it’s not too heavy, but still leaves me feeling hydrated.



Hands down my favorite. I can’t live without this product. It smooths, firms, and tightens. It does it all. It also comes in a smaller tube, which is perfect for traveling, since I definitely can not leave home without it.


Power Hour

Written and Styled by Lynn Levoy | Photographed by Eric White 

I’ve never been much of a “makeup person,” but I recently came to a point where I felt like I needed to start using, well, SOMETHING. I kept hearing about Hourglass and how natural-looking it was, so a few months ago, I found myself at the Hourglass counter at Barney’s, where I became obsessed. I worked with Laurette, a super-chic French woman, with that “je ne sais quoi” cool.

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With an effortlessness that only the French have mastered, she showed me the line’s core products and how easy they are to apply, combine and include in my daily routine. I loved the way she applied it all, but to be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed and not sure I could replicate it at home. I was worried I would look too “done,” and would have to set aside even MORE time in my morning. I feel like I already spend enough time applying all my lotions and potions, so I was a bit nervous. I figured I’d start slowly, first with the Primer and the Veil Foundation. Baby steps! But the next morning, I couldn’t believe how easy it was! And so natural!! Everything blended and layered so easily. Here are the products I took home, fell hard for and now use everyday.


Did you know around the world, one bottle is sold every minute!  I never used primer, it always seemed like an extra step and I thought it would make my skin feel cakey. But this one is so unbelievably light, it truly feels like silk. And it has SPF too. Foundation, or even just powder, glides on so much better afterwards.


Veil Foundation

I’ve also never used foundation, I always assumed it would feel too heavy, but this is exactly the opposite. It feels like you’re not wearing anything at all. I don’t wear it everyday, but on the days that I feel like I need it, it’s just the right amount of coverage and it looks so natural.

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This product works so well. It’s so great for covering up dark circles (always needed)! Because it’s so creamy it blends easily and naturally. And you don’t need much.

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I love the substantial weight of all the brushes. The shapes are perfect for blending, contouring and they give you complete control. I love the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush and the N5 Concealer Brush, but my favorite is the Ambient Lighting Edit Brush. I love that it has both sizes in one. I use the bigger one for all over and the smaller is the perfect size and shape for highlights and right under the brow.

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Ambient Palette

This compact features three powders in one and is perfect on-the-go or at home. It is literally all you need. I use Radiant Light as all over powder and it sets everything. I love Incandescent Light for highlights - I use it for cheekbones and under my eyebrow for extra pop. The powder is great even when you don’t use foundation, it definitely gives you enough coverage.



Eyebrow Pencil

If I only had time to do one thing, I would choose to fill in my brows. I’m all about brows and I adore this pencil so much. It gives you Brooke Shields eyebrows. Period. I use Dark Brunette because I like my brows on the darker side.


This pencil fills in so easily and blends super well. And even if I do too much by accident, it comes off easily without having to start over. Lifesaver.


Rings by Jennifer Fisher | Top by Isabel Marant

Wolf + Friends

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White | Styled by Lynn Levoy

For Carissa Tozzi and Gena Mann, working together was meant to be. The pair grew up in the same town on Long Island, crossed paths in the media world and later ended up close by in Connecticut. But the real magic came when Carissa sought advice from Gena for friends who were struggling with their autistic children, as one of Gena’s four kids has autism. Carissa then shared a top secret project she was working on and despite very few hours in the day, Gena signed on immediately. The result? Wolf + Friends, a cool, modern website that offers toys, fashion and gifts for children with developmental delays. We’re talking happy, stylish pieces that would fit inside any Pinterest-worthy bedroom. We spoke to the pair to get the intel on Wolf + Friends and how this amazing website came to be.


So you’ve been friends and colleagues for a long time and now you’re working together in such a beautiful way. Carissa, what was your "trigger moment” in launching Wolf and Friends?

Carissa- After having my son Wolf, I became obsessed with stylish kids' clothes, decor and toys on Pinterest. I also discovered that so many friends and colleagues were dealing with developmental issues with their children. I knew the only places they were shopping were uninspiring therapy stores. So I spent time researching those shops. I saw that many of the products they sold were on Amazon and that I could find similar items that had the same benefits at cool boutiques around the world. So I decided to curate it all online in a way that was inspiring and informative and helpful.

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Wolf + Friends is definitely filling a need. What was some of the feedback you got immediately from parents and children? Any specific moments that touched you?

Carissa- It is wonderful to hear people feel a loving, uplifting energy when they visit our site. I heard specifically from a mom who designs these awesome, modern balance boards for her autistic child. We sell them now!


Gena- I think parents are relieved and grateful to have a place to shop for their children’s developmental delays or differences that feels happy and inspirational instead of depressing! I have written a few stories on the blog from personal experiences with my own kids and moms often reach out to tell me it feels good to know they are not alone.


So how do you balance it all, a new website and five kids between you?

Carissa- Can you really call it balance?? We try to do the best we can with the time we have. We are both full time moms as well, which I think is really important for what we do. I am spending so much time with Wolf and meeting his friends and parents. I love that people I just met will come to me for advice and recommendations and many experts and parents want to contribute to the site as well.


Gena- There’s no such thing as balance with a startup. I am answering these questions at 10:00pm on Sunday evening after putting my four kids to bed. I try to work when my two year old is in preschool and then at night after the kids go to bed. My three other kids are going in 100 directions after school between therapies and activities so I am a chauffeur between the hours of 2:45 and 6pm. I worked really hard to have my youngest, so I will rarely give up any time with her. There is no better moment in my day than the way she squeals at preschool pickup.


We can’t imagine how busy you must be! Your team is amazing, how did you put your group together?

Gena- Many of the talented people that write for us are occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychiatrists and behavior analysts that I have met through my son's program. These people have helped my child, so we ask them to write about things we think can help other people's kids.


What are the next steps for Wolf +Friends?

Carissa- We are starting to collaborate with brands that we have always loved, which is super exciting and we are starting to meet with people who know a lot more about “business” than us, so we can get insight and advice on where we can take the brand from here.


What's the last book you read with your kids?


Carissa- Wolf is into scary looking and informative dinosaur books, so that is what we are reading. I ask him to bring home something funny from the library, but he is in a scary phase and all wants is facts and information!

Gena- My big kids read by themselves at night (at least some of them do)! My baby is a big fan of Llama, Llama books and so am I.


What makes you fly?

Carissa- When Wolf tells me he loves me so much! He is such a sweet, loving, affectionate boy! I want to hold on to those moments forever. And I am so lucky to have such a loving and thoughtful husband who tells me everyday how much he loves me and how beautiful I am. I am very grateful for my little family.

Gena- My family 100%. We have a complicated little crew in many ways. We have autism which throws everyone for a loop. We have a 12 year age difference between my oldest and youngest kids and my husband spends a lot of time on a plane traveling for work. But we wouldn't change a thing! When we are all together, we have moments of magic. My husband plays piano and the kids all dance around, we make bonfires in the front yard in the spring and summer. Honestly, when we can get everyone in one room for a meal, we are pretty psyched. Because of our challenges, we appreciate the small miracles.

Hair by Melissa Parizot | Make up by Michael Chua

For more information visit WOLFANDFRIENDS.COM

Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Dove Loves

Written and Styled by Lynn Levoy | Photographed by Eric White

Welcome to Dove Loves. Here you’ll find Lynn’s definitive guide to what she’s loving at this very moment. Consider them her favorites du jour - the holy grail of items she’s coveting, researching, talking about, obsessing over - the products she’s deemed can’t-live-without-worthy and needs to share with you right now.

Each month we’ll be bringing you these Dove Loves straight from Lynn herself. Consider them tried, tested and approved directly from the source of all things A Wild Dove.

Ben taverniTi Unravel Project

“I love the vibe of this line and what Ben and Joyce are doing right now (They’re also engaged and with 2 kids. Love that)!  This collection feels so fresh compared to everything else out there. Streetwear inspired for sure, but the fit and quality are so on point. I also love it’s not everywhere (yet). This bomber is one of my favorite pieces. I like to wear it kinda slouchy. It comes with removable shoulder pads that may be a bit extreme for everyday, but perfect for Saturday night.”


Published under Virgil Abloh's Off White, this book is styled and lensed by fashion power players Luka Sabbat and Noah Dillon, the duo behind HotMess. It's full of super cool images of women and with a purple reflector cover, it's perfect for coffee table decor.”

Vetements x Dr Martens

“Need I say more? Vet and Docs - best collab ever. From the moment I saw them, I knew I needed them in my world and I’ve been in living in them. They go with everything - dresses, wide leg jeans, cropped jeans...EVERYTHING. They’re already a bit beat upon purchase, which means they will wear-in perfectly."


Nars Velvet Lip Glide in Mineshaft

“For someone who doesn’t really wear red lipstick, I am strangely always on the hunt for new reds,” says Lynn. “ I am loving this one by Nars. It goes on super easy, no liner needed. It applies like gloss but it’s actually not glossy. The color is super strong and really stays on, but doesn’t get cakey.”


Celine Thin Shadow Sunglasses

“These sunnies are SO Laura Biagiotti,  but in the best way possible. I always wearing huge glasses but I love the unique shape. Needless to say I'm obsessed with them for the moment.”

Rings by Jennifer Fisher | Shorts by Vetements x Champion | Camisole by Nili Lotan

Charity Cause Kim Proal on her New Role in Life - Volunteer

Written By A Wild Dove

As a jaded business executive, Kim Proal felt herself getting caught up in the New York bubble. So one day, she decided to pop it.

In 2012, she took her first volunteer trip to India, where she assisted an orphanage for special needs children. “I was a bit of a close-minded, self-centered New Yorker and I knew it,” Kim said.

“I needed perspective and I needed to do more than send money to various organizations. India started me on my volunteering path.” Following her life-changing trip, Kim went onto volunteer at another orphanage in Ethiopia and just last summer traveled to Chios, Greece to aid Syrian refugees with a Norwegian based organization, Dråpen i Havet. There, they distributed food, set up activities for the children, cleaned the beaches and gave out shoes and clothing. She recently returned from her second trip there, where she checked in on all of the friends she made, who are still living in terrible conditions.

We’ve been fortunate enough to know and love Kim for years, so when we she told us about her last trip to Greece, we were so inspired that we had to share it. Kim was also kind enough to detail how we can all get involved and that although it might appear overwhelming, helping others is easier than we think and one of the most gratifying things we can possibly do.


We are so moved by your work. Can you describe the "trigger moment" in realizing you wanted to volunteer?

There were a few triggers – first with wanting to volunteer around the world and then the moment I made the decision to volunteer with refugees. My first volunteer trip was at a Special Needs Orphanage in India in 2012. I was consumed with too many material items and knew I needed balance and perspective in my life. I was at the house of my former boss and we were chatting about life and our desire to volunteer and the conversation led to the book, “Shantaram,” a novel set in India, this was absolutely the greatest book recommendation that I ever received. I read the last page, closed the book and a few months later I was on my way to volunteer in India.

My trigger moment with working with the refugees happened in March 2015, listening to an NPR segment as I was getting ready for work one morning. We were so removed from the Syrian Civil War and the Syrian Refugee Crises for so long, although this war started in 2011. The NPR broadcast had a young Syrian man, still in university, speaking from inside a depilated building. There were missiles and bombs exploding in the background and he was so very sad and so very horrified.  He became emotional, as did I. I knew I could not go to Syria, but I knew that there were so many people fleeing that needed help. This is when I decided to work with the refugees.  

Wow, those are some amazing memories. If someone came to you wanting to get involved, what are some practical tips you’d give them?

Do your due diligence. There are so many wonderful volunteer organizations doing wonderful things and filling in the many voids the governments are not handling. But some don’t take short-term volunteers and when you have limited vacation time, you need to maximize your time spent. Research the work the organizations do, talk to former volunteers and become comfortable with how the NGO is supporting the cause.

That makes sense. Can you tell us something you've learned on your journey?  

I have learned so so much in the process and I use it to educate others. I really enjoy being a voice for so many whose voices has been taken from them. I like people to know that I have near and dear friends sitting in refugee camps and they are the kindest, caring, most generous people.

I like people to know that they were former business men and women, professors, college students, etc.  They are children that can’t go to school or play on a playground anymore.  

And after all that they have been through, we continue to shut our doors on them. But one of the biggest takeaways is the hope and courage and fight in all of them.

How do you prepare for these trips? Mentally and physically?  

That’s a tough question because you can’t really prepare for some of the gut wrenching stories you will hear – stories about loss of family members, devastation and destruction.  You also can never prepare for how tough it is to leave and hard the adjustment to life back at home can be. But when you are there, you are running on adrenaline, trying to be as productive as possible.  When I return home, it is emotional and I need to take baby steps back into the "real world."

How has this experience changed you and what's next for you?  

Well I have the most incredible friends that are in refugee camps, people I talk to more than my friends here. We speak on a daily basis. I will never understand why war had to bring us together, but I am so lucky to have them in my life. I am upset with our administration and saddened that the world can be so cruel.  No one chooses to be a refugee, you are a refugee when you have no other choice.

I plan on returning to Souda Refugee Camp (on the island of Chios) this summer, it will be my third time there. I will continue to work with the NGO and support in any and every way I can. I will continue to fight for human rights, alongside the refugees.  

Kim Proal - Photographed by Eric White | Souda Refugee Camp - Photographed by Kim Proal 

Beauty Rituals - Erika Bloom

Written by Erika Bloom | Photographed by Eric White | Styled by Lynn Levoy


She’s a mama, Founder of Erika Bloom Pilates, a wellness practitioner and member of our Flock. If that weren’t enough, Erika Bloom does it all with a glow that emanates from the inside out. She’s the embodiment of the lifestyle she touts - one of all natural, organic living, from her food to her shampoo. We asked Erika to talk through her beauty rituals with the hope that we’ll maybe get her glow. Read on below.

Our inner health and happiness is reflected in the glow of our skin, the strength of our hair, our expression. My primary focus in my beauty routine is good sleep, low stress and clean eating.  I complement this with skin and hair care rituals encompassing beautiful, luxurious, natural products. I absolutely love the experience of moving through the many steps of cleansing, treating and hydrating.

I choose my products starting from the premise that I would never put something on the outside that I wouldn’t put inside. We absorb the products we use through our skin. Essentially, if I wouldn’t eat it, it doesn’t go in my beauty cabinet. Luckily, there are so many amazing, effective products that satisfy this.

My days are busy. I’m always moving, whether it be exercising, teaching clients or playing with my two children, so throughout I need to refresh my hair and skin. I add smoothness to my hair with Kapuluan Raw Organic Coconut Oil. I tone my face with Tammy Fender Essential C Tonic. I hydrate and give my face a dewy glow with either Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Mist or Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence.

Natural deodorant is a must. Going from a chemical anti-perspirant to a pure product can be a hard transition but if you manage odor with clean eating and low stress and find the natural deodorant that works with your body chemistry, then you’ll find success. For me it’s Agent Nateur’s holi (stick). It goes on clear and keeps me fresh.

True Botanicals Hydrating Cleanser | Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum | Tammy Fender Essential C Tonic

My nightly face routine starts with cleansing with True Botanicals Hydrating Cleanser. It naturally hydrates with oils while still removing makeup and impurities. It has been amazing for preventing breakouts without drying out my skin. In the morning I start by toning with Tammy Fender Essential C Tonic. Aloe, Green Tea, Vitamin C, Ginseng and Bergamot restore and feed my skin.

Next is a facial mist. The ritual of surrounding myself in a cloud of essential oils is so calming and centering. It also treats the skin and preps it to absorb my serums. I use the Nutrient Mist from True Botanicals. It contains algae extract to replenish and kombucha to restore balance.

My favorite serum (and desert island product) is Tata Harper's Rejuvenating Serum. I can wake up puffy and creased, put this on and look like my best self pretty instantly. It’s packed with effective natural ingredients that improve tone, texture and lines. I love how it feels and smells and how it works under makeup.

Last, I dab on a facial oil. Right now I’m using Suti’s Rejuvenate Organic Face Oil. It’s chock full of amazing ingredients including rosehip seed oil, evening primrose oil, argan oil, sandalwood, frankincense and neroli. It adds glow for day and deep balancing hydration for night. The essential oils lift my mood and help me sleep.

Fearless Tray by Alexandra Von Frustenberg

A few times a week I take the time for a mask. Herbivore’s Brighten mask improves the color and clarity of my skin. Josh Rosebrook’s Cacao mask is genius at clearing and shrinking pores. The beauty of using natural products is that they don’t just make the skin look better, they actually make it healthier. Many chemical products coat the skin to make it appear smooth but they aren’t actually improving quality or truly hydrating. It makes me feel good to choose things that are good for my insides and outside and that really work.

Herbivore Brighten Mask | Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask 

My body and hair routine is rooted in the same natural principles as my face care. Pre-shower I dry brush with gloves for skin exfoliation and improvement of lymph flow and circulation. I wash and condition my hair with products from John Masters Organics, Rahua and Innersense. Then I use a leave in conditioner from Innersense. It leaves my hair smooth with a beach-y wave. Post-shower I hydrate and nourish my skin with Tammy Fender Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil. Lavender essential oil is so calming for me and I love its subtle scent.

If I need to transition to an after work meeting or event, I add lift to my hair with Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo and add scent with LURK oil or Tata Harper Love Potion. They smell amazing and enhance my mood and health with pure essential oils.

The self-care component of using these products is such a part of my wellbeing. I am so grateful to these amazing brands for creating products that are so pure, so effective and so beautiful. And because my products are natural and non-toxic, I can snuggle and hug my children knowing that they are being exposed to healthy ingredients as well.  

Tammy Fender Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil | Agent Nateur holi (stick) Natural Deodorant | Tata Harper Love Potion | Lurk Perfume Oil | Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo |      Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave In Conditioner | Kapuluan Raw Organic Coconut Oil

As modern mamas living in the over information age, (where everyone is an expert and parenting opinions are shared as freely and easily as an Instagram post) it can be tough to filter through the white noise to find the facts. Naturally, we’d love to consider ourselves wise in all sorts of ways, but the truth is sometimes we’re scrawling SOS in the sand. Good thing we’ve got the guidance and expertise of our own personal rockstars: the people who inspire us on the daily. Our rockstars (our flock) are enthusiasts, professionals and influencers in the fields of wellness, travel, education, style—the list goes on. Each one brings a profoundly different perspective to the table, one informed by their own experiences and outlooks. And that perspective is priceless. They say it takes a village…we say it takes a flock.

The Circle Game

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Mel Blanchard

As a doula and spiritual counselor, Paula Mallis is aware of the transformative power that comes with helping women bring life into the world. So she decided to create a space for all women to serve as the physical embodiment of the birthing work she had been doing. The result is WMN Space, a conscious space for women to gather in service to their own healing. The intention of WMN Space is to support women, wherever they are on their journey through classes on women’s health, body work, therapy, spiritual counseling and workshops.

The space has resonated with women, not just near the Culver City abode, but all over Southern California. Her evening moon circles are known to draw a crowd from all over Los Angeles and beyond. We sat down with Paula, where she talked about her journey, these sacred circles and why self love is the best kind of love.


Can you describe your journey into becoming a Doula and opening WMN?

My journey into birth Doula work began as I was preparing for my own pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant the day before my Doula training began and the rest is history. After holding space for women in my home for over three years I felt called to take the work I was doing at home out into the world. That was the beginning of the creation of WMN SPACE. I was completely guided to create a space not only for pregnant women and mothers but for all women in service to their unique journey and healing.

We often ask people about their "trigger moments." It sounds like your pregnancy and the birth of your daughter had a lot to do with it for you. Can you share that experience with us?

Pregnancy and all of its shifts and challenges brought up in me a lot of triggers, but through my spiritual journey I was gifted the awareness that the triggers were all an opportunity for personal growth and healing. Once I shifted my perspective, my relationship towards pregnancy and birth began to change inwardly and outwardly, which allowed me the space for a transformational experience.

That makes a lot of sense. Your classes are very diverse in nature and age. How did you hone or curate the offerings for WMN Space? There must have been a lot to choose from in LA.

My intention is for all offerings at WMN SPACE to be fully in alignment with the intention of WMN SPACE. Offerings that are authentic, grounding and accessible to all women, wherever they are on their own journey.

What do you hope women will take from their sessions at WMN space that maybe they're not getting elsewhere?

I hope what women experience is more in connection to the authenticity to who they are. Feeling inspired, supported and empowered.

It must be difficult managing it all - a family, a business and now a new space...AND you give so much of you in your work. How do you do it?

SELF CARE!!!!! I have to put my self care and spiritual practice first. When I do that, I feel I can do it all without burning out.

Yes! Totally. So we love the idea of your Women's Circle's. Can you tell us more about it?

The Women's Circles are an opportunity to come together connect and share our experiences while practicing non-judgmental observation of ourselves and each other in a sacred safe space.

OK, now for the personal stuff. What is your favorite family ritual?

Morning breakfast and setting intentions for the day!

Speaking of, what's the first thing you do in the morning?

I wish I could say meditate. Sometimes that gets pushed back to the school parking lot after drop off, but on the weekends, meditate.

What's the last book you read with your daughter?

Little Bear :)

Love that one. And what's something most people don't know about conscious living or healing that would surprise them?

Conscious living is not for hippies! I think people think to live an aware or spiritual life it's about yoga poses or meditating for hours on end. To me living a conscious life is being "aware" and conscious of our choices, thoughts, actions and behaviors inwardly and outwardly.

What makes you fly?



WWW.WMNSPACE.COM | 10764 Washington Blvd. 2nd Floor Culver City, LA | 310 570 9492

Jungle Cubs

Written By A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White | Styled By Lynn Levoy

As adults, we all often crave yoga - whether for exercise, circulation or taking a pause in our everyday lives. But what about children? Surely they too can benefit from the practice in ways we may have never imagined.

Except Eda Ozmen did. She has been teaching yoga to children for the last few years after realizing that her passion for the practice and teaching kids could be united. Eda first got her 200-hour teaching training at Down Dog Yoga in DC and immediately knew she wanted to share the practice with kids. She then attended a children's teacher training through a non profit program in Washington DC called YoKids before moving to New York. Now she is at one of our favorite yoga studios, the newly expanded Lyons Den Power Yoga, where she started the Power Cubs program last year with children ages 2-12 years old. Eda also is a certified corporate wellness specialist, bringing mindful and well being practices to the workplace.

We sat down with Eda to get the lowdown on downward dogging with the mini-set.

What do the children experience in the Power Cubs program?

At the Lyons Den, we teach kids the importance of developing healthy habits, how to pay attention and focus, as well as, to have compassion for themselves and others.

Power Cubs teaches the tools and principles of yoga in a way that is fun and accessible to children. We cultivate each student’s awareness of thoughts, emotions, body sensations, the surrounding environment and kindness to others.

Why is yoga so important and beneficial for kids?

The practices of yoga and mindfulness offer rich experiences that can profoundly impact the lives of young people by redirecting their energy in a positive way. Yoga provides a set of tools to cultivate a wide variety of experiences in mind-body awareness, self-regulation and physical fitness. Yoga at an early age creates positive health implications into adulthood, like  strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, focus, concentration, discipline, creativity, teamwork and a deeper connection to self and others.

What's the the best part about teaching kids?

The best part about teaching kids is experiencing how present and engaged they can be. I see that kids are more in tune with their feelings and emotions while practicing yoga (especially when I see them completely still in final resting pose), which has given me a whole new outlook on my own yoga practice.


What does teaching children teach you?

Teaching children is a lot harder than I imagined, but also extremely rewarding!

I have definitely learned to be more patient and mindful in my own actions and attention overall. Teaching them has taught me to practice without judgement, be present in the moment, not take life so seriously, and most have fun!

The kids challenge me at times, but they’re also able to bring out the best in me.

Can you tell us about the philosophy behind Little Flowers 5 Elements?

In each class, I use the teaching model from Little Flowers 5 Elements of Yoga and Mindfulness: Connect, Breath, Move, Focus and Relax.

We play games, do coordination exercises and different activities that focus on the 5 elements below - 



 Connect activities foster connections for children internally and externally. They help students make sense of their own emotional experiences and also ground them in an awareness of their environment and the needs of others.


The breath is one of our most powerful tools for self determination, and teaching children that they have some control over their own emotional and energetic state is an empowering lesson.

Gaining control of the breath in a safe way can be extremely beneficial in helping children regulate their emotions and energy level.


Yoga poses may be used in a variety of ways as tools to channel student's energy, improve their health, build their confidence and for many other purposes. A central tenet of our program is that no child will ever be forced or pressured into any posture that they feel uncomfortable with for any reason. The emphasis in our movement practice is on exploration, not competition.


Children are often asked to focus and rarely taught how.

Our focus activities are designed to allow children the capacity to experiment with what it means to focus and repeated practice noticing when their mind wanders and bringing it back to the task at hand.


All students of any age will benefit from learning to relax and restore. Our children are exposed to an overwhelming amount of sensory stimulation,  chronically sleep deprived and generally have no idea how to calm themselves down. Relax activities provide the opportunity to rest both the body and the mind.

Eda's Vest & Leggings by Outdoor Voices
Callum's Vest & Shorts by The Animals Observatory


Power Cubs at Lyons Den Power Yoga | 279 CHURCH STREET, 3RD FLOOR, NYC | 646 490 8888

Vintage Point

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White

Who knew that when Richard Ives came to New York to study art, he would create one of the most iconic vintage boutiques in the world? We certainly didn’t, but we’re so grateful he did.

Richard is what you’d call a fashion triple threat - he began his career styling before becoming fashion director at Bloomingdale’s. He’s also known to design clothing. If that weren’t enough, he opened Pilgrim New York as a place to house the most forward vintage from top designers around the world. We’ll let Richard finish the rest, because each detail of his story - much like the most fabulous Junya Watanabe frock - is just too too good...

Richard! We are obsessed with your store and your vintage finds. Can you describe your journey and how Piligrim came to be?

I came to New York to study art and worked at the Met and the MOMA as well as a few galleries in SoHo. A friend at the Met was a stylist and asked me to assist her. I didn't even know what that was, but was interested in both fashion and photography. My first time assisting on an editorial was for French Vogue with Arthur Elgort. The models were Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. I freelanced as a stylist and began working for Bloomingdale’s as fashion director. I could still do editorial while working there. I worked for many magazines, mostly European, and photographers like Richard Avedon, Deborah Turbeville, Patrick Demarchelier, Glen Luchford and Steven Klein. I worked with designers like Donna Karan, Isabel Toledo, Tracy Feith and Charles Nolan. I also designed and made clothes, which was really helpful when working closely with designers. I worked on the first home collection for Donna Karan, making many of the samples myself. Pilgrim first opened in 2006 in Woodstock, New York. After selling my home on Shelter Island, Woodstock was the tester store for New York City. We sold vintage clothing, art, and collectibles. We also used it as a gallery to showcase both NYC and local artists. I first introduced the Pilgrim women's collection there as well.

Wow, you have quite the fashion legacy. So onto the clothing. Tell us, how and where do you find your pieces?

We source everything through dealers mostly European and occasionally will buy at auction.

Meghan Douglas | Photography Michael Thompson | Styling by Richard Ives
Trish Goff  | Photography by Patrick Demarchelier | Styling by Richard Ives
Cindy Crawford | Photography by Patrick Demarchelier | Styling by Richard Ives

How do you decide if a piece makes the cut?

I'm super critical, since we've become a source for designers and their teams, I only want interesting or iconic pieces.

That totally comes through at your store. Only the best. And how do you stay balanced in this crazy industry?

I use to have a house in the Caribbean, which was a great escape. Now I just use gym and mini escape weekends to deal.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and where would it be?

My dream dinner was actually last summer at Isabella Rossellinis house in Bellport. I styled the dancers for an art performance at her farm and was invited to her home for dinner afterwards. Conversations about David Lynch amongst artists and the most delicious Swedish food! I rode back and had the best conversation with a curator from the Pompidou Centre. It was a magical night.

 Artist -  Lia Chevaz | Photography by Ira Lippke | Styling by Richard Ives


Amazing! Tell us, who’s your fashion icon?

Fashion icons are all the usual suspects, but Debbie Harry is my all time favorite. And many of the people I've worked with over the years. Indre Rockefeller has supported the store and worn my collection. She's always eclectic and modern. We have a lot of Comme des Garcons and Yohji buyers who always look amazing.

Is there a piece that got away?

I can't even begin to think about it, so many. Many Junya Watanabe pieces. I do remember a Dior evening dress that was spectacular, but I buy for modern wardrobes and that doesn't always include couture or evening pieces.

What’s your most favorite piece ever?

Brian Bennett, my business partner has bought some of the most amazing pieces of costume jewelry. So probably a couture necklace from Christian Lacroix.

Ahh, SO GOOD. What’s your favorite fashion moment?

Stephen Sprouse's store in SoHo. He was the first American that did cool high design. Also the first time I went to Comme des Garcons in SoHo in 1986. I was awe struck. Maybe my first show in Paris, Chloe by Karl Lagerfeld. It so ethereal and the girls were all goddesses! The first show I styled for was Tracy Feith. It was at some stripper bar in Times Square. The whole collection was the Nudie Show. My sister Lisa, who was a dancer, was in it too!

We would have loved to see that! Lastly, what makes you fly?

After many years still being excited by fashion and design. Dressing my customers who tell me how great they feel.  The specialness of vintage and how it resonates with young designers. Sharing all the stories behind how things were made and the quality and craftsmanship that no longer exists.


On International Women’s Day, We Celebrate The Class

Written by Lynn Levoy | Photographed by Jaimie Baird

I kept hearing so much about The Class that I just knew in my gut I would love it. That was two and a half years ago. I still remember how after first trying it out, I could hear Taryn’s voice inside my head all day. I realized then that this was more than just a “workout.” It was a an emotional and spiritual endeavor, which was exactly what I needed. And I haven’t looked back since.

I had always been a big runner and loved the gym, where I could spend hours. But after Callum was born, I had to be more efficient on every level. The Class is therapy. It allows me to approach my day stronger in every way - myself, my family, my friends, my business. It’s the only exercise that gives me that same running high and even more. It’s where in my voice, in my yelling, screaming, I can release. But just as importantly, Taryn’s words resonate with me. They empower me. As a woman and a mama, I value a space with no judgement and a community where we support and build each other up. After doing The Class regularly, I can see a difference in my everyday life. It gives me strength and forces me to look at all aspects of my life that needed change. And to boot, I can do Burpees for six minutes. Thank you TT!

The Class now has a new home, a recently opened studio in Tribeca. In partnership with interior designer Elizabeth Kohn of Elizabeth Kohn Design, as well as, interior designer and crystal healer, Rashia Bell, Taryn created a zen space featuring gorgeous marble slabs, flickering candles and pink-gray finishes. It’s a sublime gem set in the craziness of New York, where the cleansing, calming scent of Palo Santo wafts as you ascend the staircase.

Follow it to the third floor, to a sanctuary of calm with a soft palette of crystals everywhere! They’re even set into the floor to clear energy and renew balance and confidence. Moving through The Class on top of tourmaline, hematite, clear quartz, amethyst and rose quartz enhances the practice and cleanses. There’s also The Shop - a beautifully curated selection of must-have's like The Airelume Jewelry By Taryn Toomey, Moon Juice Dusts, Cinnamon Projects Incense Sets, Joanna Vargas SkinCare, Sun Potion Adaptogens, Smoke Perfume Essential Oils and bkr Water Bottles.

I am so inspired by Taryn and her teachers. I asked Courtney Deri, Lindsay Tyson and Jaycee Gossett to sound off on why The Class is so powerful and what inspires them.

How does The Class foster community among women?

Courtney - “What I believe The Class does, is gives us the complete freedom to express, explore wherever we are at on any given day. I think it creates the realization that we all have our baggage and are suffering in one way or another. That we all need to RELEASE that weight.”

Jaycee - “Our company culture is one of acceptance, equality and generosity of spirit. In addition to lengthening and strengthening the physical body, The Class method itself provides a mindful opportunity for deep cathartic release. We use movement and sound to witness and process intense emotions - this deep connection to self creates a doorway for one to connect outwardly in community. We bond in the self-strengthening process that occurs in that room.”

Lindsay - “Regardless of where we're coming from, we as women have more in common then we often realize. As I step into The Class again and again, I am beginning to see and feel and know that my pain, my joy and my healing is my own and that there is also so much commonality between what I'm feeling and what other women in the room are feeling.”

Courtney Deri

How does this workout speak to women?

Courtney - “It’s the ability to find and use sound to access your voice which is extremely empowering. Personally, I find it a lot easier to stand up for myself and speak up in times, where I would have used to just keep my mouth shut and suppress. It has been a game changer. I think it shows women how capable we are when we actually put our mind and energy towards something and to not let any type of label or preconception hold us back. The opportunities are ENDLESS.”  

Jaycee - “I think as women we can identify with other women's experiences and the idea that we know we are not alone in that room together or alone in our human journey is very comforting. To know we are all going through the exact same challenges, celebrations and changes creates a deep sense of humanity and community.”

Lindsay - “So many women (myself included) spend so much energy trying to look and act in a way that fulfills some nebulous idea about what it means to be female. We should be attractive but not intimidating; smart but yielding; opinionated but polite. It is often suggested to women that perhaps we should stay small - that making waves and making noise and going after what we want without apologizing is unsafe and unladylike. When we come to The Class, we are asked to pay attention to what we are feeling and we realize that our well of emotions runs deep and that so much of what we are feeling has been with us for a long time and is related to our desire to check all the right boxes.”

Jaycee Gossett

your favorite moment in class ?

Courtney - “I have so many moments that I am so in love with. But I would have to say my ultimate favorite is, right after the climax of the class, (where you are invited to run the sh*t out of your legs and make A LOT of sound) , and right before we move into the 'Heart Clearing.' There is such a beautiful moment of softness, of quiet, of vulnerability and rawness in the space. I tear up almost every time.”

Jaycee - “My favorite moment? Every moment of the 6,500 seconds.”

Lindsay - “My favorite moment in class is three-quarters into the first song. That give me enough time to get into my body, to build heat and then to see what's going on physically, mentally and emotionally. Even if I'm feeling rough, as I get into my body and my stuff, I can feel that I'm on the precipice of some kind of shift. To me, that feels simultaneously thrilling and like a relief.”

Lindsay Tyson

what inspires you ?

Courtney - “ALL the emotions, love, music, Buddhism, The Class by Taryn Toomey's community, anyone who at one point thought they couldn't and then they did.”

Jaycee -  “Everything. Living, experiencing, breathing, music, dancing, all of it. I am constantly marveled by the world around me and in me. I mean it's all pretty surreal isn't it?”

Lindsay - “I'm inspired by the women who teach The Class. And no one is suggesting that I say that! But this is a team of women who are committed to showing up, doing the work, laughing, dancing, crying and supporting each other. The Class is such a weird and wonderful journey and the women who I teach with are full of courage, humor, compassion and strength. Without them nudging me forward down this path, I'd have run away a thousand times.”

What makes you fly ?

Courtney - “Holding space for others to explore themselves and their process, to see the breakthroughs and to celebrate them after. It's truly ecstasy for me. Also a good belly laugh or an ugly cry.”

Jaycee - “Music blasting, body moving, deep breathing and lots and lots and lots of sweat.”

Lindsay - “A really good laugh - one that makes me clutch my belly and tear up - makes me feel like I'm flying. For these moments of flight, I rely on my mom, my sister and my dearest friends.”



Walking Tall this Spring

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White | Styled by Lynn Levoy

From sandals to booties to platforms, Spring is always the perfect time to invest in a few new must-haves to take you from the beach, to outdoor weddings and beyond.  Fortunately, we’ve enlisted David Rosen, AKA @BarneysShoeMan to help us navigate top trends by our favorite brands.  We let David sound off on what he knows and loves best.  Shoes!

Check out his spring picks below -


"This sandal is like having  pillows on your feet. Ridiculously comfortable.”


“The silver sequin bootie is probably the most fun, comfortable boot this season and surprisingly versatile as well because of the clear plexi heel.”


“The black patent pump is a nice ode to the YSL iconic logo. You’ll be the chicest on the dance floor.”


"The arena leather is very cool and the inverted kitten heel gives it a little edge. It’s a play on naughty meets nice.”


“The hi-top sneaker is super versatile and because of its length, it can be worn with anything from jeans to dresses. Great street look.”


“The Unravel bootie has a hidden heel and a rock-n-roll feel to them. It’s edgy luxe.”


“This sandal really has the comfort of an actual Birkenstock, but way cooler look. It also comes in a mirrored silver for a bit more flare.”


“The silver sandal is soft and with the feather detail it makes it a perfect sandal for vacation. You’ll see these all over Ibiza and Capri.”


“This red flat has the softest leather and the square toe fits much better on the foot. The overall them is a continuation from fall and it's all about comfort and versatility.”


"Even though it's a very high heel, its thick and the platform makes it easier for navigating the city, even without an Uber.”

Black Champion Zip Up In Progress Hoodie by Vetements | Satin Slingbacks by Vetements x Manolo Blahnik  | Jeans by ReDone | Medium Frame Shoulder Bag by Celine | Rings by Jennifer Fisher



Salespeople, stylists, skincare specialists and all manner of self care mavens—they can be so much more than simply people who provide a service. If we’re lucky enough to score a particularly first-rate one, they might be closer to our therapists, confidantes…basically our support team. They work magic on our wardrobes. They whip us into shape after a rough week. They set us straight when we’re mired in bad vibes. They nix our doubts and fix our hairdos in one fell swoop. They are truly transformation experts. In this series, we’re giving credit where it’s due: to the pros who keep us on point. Get their take on style, wellness, and how we can all learn to love ourselves a little better—even after we’ve left their stomping grounds.

Beauty Rituals - Joy Dushey

Written by Joy Dushey | Photographed by Eric White 

For our first trip into the beauty lives of others, we hit up Joy Dushey, a member of The Flock and a holistic wellness coach behind The Joyful Approach. She opens up her beauty cabinet and talks her favorite products du jour.


My bathroom is my sanctuary of beauty, where spa-like colors of light ocean green mix with white marble that signal cleanliness and purity. In it, I keep my favorite candles, crystals and bath oils that are carefully and intuitively placed around my bathroom.

Living in New York can certainly be stressful, so after a long day, there’s nothing more soothing than coming home to a warm bath and cleansing my face from the pollutants it’s been exposed to throughout the day.


I keep my cabinet simple and organized with products that I use daily. When I turned 40, I freaked out and knew it was time to step up my game with skin care.

I sought out one of the best aestheticians in NY, Vicki Morav. Vicki’s philosophy of layering the skin with serums and nourishing it with moisture is vital to optimal healthy skin. It’s no wonder that Vicki herself is gorgeous and has the skin of a teenager. I was inspired so I invested in the best of products Vicki prescribed for me.


I use a milky cleanser to first wash my face with warm water and a sponge.

I can’t live without Lotion P50, a multi-purpose lotion that gently exfoliates and purifies the skin, helps moisturizes and rebalances the skin's pH. It removes dead cells and impurities. Next I use MBR Cross Lift Serum, also a game changer which promotes the synthesis of collagen smoothing out lines, plumping up the skin and making my skin feel youthful.

I use Biologique Recherche’s serum and elixirs like Amniotique to stimulate the cells and for extra hydration. Eye cream from Valmont is expensive but worth it for it renews the eye area with the most nourishing ingredients. I also apply on my upper lip and on smile lines..

Lastly, is the MBR Cream Extraordinary. This is probably my favorite product I’ve ever owned. It’s made with the richest ingredients and since I started using in it, my skin has felt quite amazing.

Cross Lift Serum Ultrapeptide by MBR | Cream Extraordinary by MBR |  L'Elixir des Glaciers Vos Yeux Eye Treatment by Valmont | Lotion P50V by Biologique Recherche | Elastine Pure Serum Authentique by Biologique Recherche



My skin tends to get really dry, especially in the winter months no matter how much water I consume so I need to also spend some extra time hydrating my body.

After a shower, while my skin is still slightly damp, I apply Love Oil from Ayurvedic skin care Pratima. The nurturing ingredients of Sweet Almond Oil works with Lavender, Rose and Vanilla and hydrates and deeply softens the skin. The scents are divine!

I then use Kiehls creme de corp with soy butter and for a night out I’ll use the shimmering oil from Marula.

Lastly I spritz my body with either Erolfa from Creed (my signature scent) or L'Eau d'Hiver Frederic Malle that I recently started wearing and am loving.  

Marula Shimmering Gold Oil by African Botanics | Love Oil by Pratima | L'Eau d'Hiver by Frederic Malle

As modern mamas living in the over information age, (where everyone is an expert and parenting opinions are shared as freely and easily as an Instagram post) it can be tough to filter through the white noise to find the facts. Naturally, we’d love to consider ourselves wise in all sorts of ways, but the truth is sometimes we’re scrawling SOS in the sand. Good thing we’ve got the guidance and expertise of our own personal rockstars: the people who inspire us on the daily. Our rockstars (our flock) are enthusiasts, professionals and influencers in the fields of wellness, travel, education, style—the list goes on. Each one brings a profoundly different perspective to the table, one informed by their own experiences and outlooks. And that perspective is priceless.

They say it takes a village…we say it takes a flock.

Check Mate

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White | Styled by Lynn Levoy


If you could do something for your kids that would increase their IQ, enhance their memory, verbal skills and critical thinking while fostering emotional intelligence and confidence, it would be a no-brainer.  Well, there is, and it’s hiding in the most unlikely of places.  It’s called chess. Yes, that chess.  And no, your kids are not too young to learn.  At least that’s what Tyler Schwartz and Jon Seiber realized when they introduced Chess at Three, an after-school program that teaches the game to kids as young as three through a powerful storytelling method.  Yes, the pieces spring to life, where kids learn sequencing, strategy, language and math all through connecting with the characters on the chess board. 


We sat down with Chess at 3’s director of tutors, Harlan Alford to talk about the program and why storytelling is such a meaningful teaching mechanism.

Check it out below. 


Can you tell us how Chess at Three got started?

Chess At Three was created by Tyler Schwartz and Jon Sieber.  Tyler taught chess at the Village Chess Shop and was approached to teach chess to 3 year olds, an age younger than anyone has taught before.  After several lessons it was not working. His traditional attempts to teach chess were not affecting the children.  The kids were not having fun with the game.  So one day he made a story up about the piece that was super funny and had all the children cracking up.  The story simply told how the King moved.  The kids loved it.  They wouldn't stop talking about it that week.  So the school’s staff brought Tyler back.  And he did it again.  The kids fell in love with the game because they loved the stories and the characters.  Tyler brought Jon on to see what he was doing.  Jon is not a strong chess player but had been working with children for years.  Jon tried teaching a lesson through stories and it was fantastic.  This is the moment that I think is special.  Realizing that fun is the best way for young children to learn.  Games are important. We can teach them sequencing and strategy, how to win and lose and how to work on language and mathematics all in a fun lesson with silly teachers that love working with children.



What was your “trigger moment” in the program’s development? 

Our trigger moment was when the stories were developed.  When we realized if we get children having fun playing chess they will fall in love with it. If we tell them stories and develop a world, they will dig into it to discover more and more.  The other trigger moment was when we realized that we didn’t have to be grandmasters to teach these kids.  We needed to be amazing storytellers. Stories are a powerful tool.  Being told what to do doesn’t help us absorb what we need to know or to do or how to play, but being set free in a world to discover it for ourselves does. And our teachers are incredible story tellers and creatives who make the game come alive. 


That makes total sense. What are some of the benefits to teaching kids chess? Is there a good age to start? 

While people of all ages (3-93+) benefit from playing chess in a variety of ways, starting at a very young age can jumpstart early childhood development. We discovered that teaching chess at the surprising age of 3 is both possible and beneficial.  So we believe this is the best age to start.

Wow. That’s incredible! I'm sure the kids teach you a great deal as well. What have you learned the most from working with kids? 

Kids are the best!  Well I’ve personally learned that I’m not as sneaky as I thought I was.  They are very perceptive, not a lot gets past them.  I’ve also learned to be clear, intentional.  Kids don’t stand for insincerity. Having fun and being genuine is the best way to get anyone to listen. 

Yep, we would agree with that. Can you tell us what are some of the next big steps for Chess at Three? 

We will soon be rolling out our own chess board game. I know there are hundreds of them out there but ours is going to be completely different.  It will still keep the traditional chess pieces so kids can learn exactly what chess is, not just a version of it, but then we developed a way to incorporate our silly characters to the pieces as well.  And our stories will be attached.  It’s going to be super fun and helpful so that when a tutor is not around parents can play with their kids and everyone can have a blast.



We’re sure we’ll learn a thing or two as well! Lastly, what makes you fly?

Figuring out how creativity and strategy can come together and provide something for people.  I believe we are doing that.  We want to help parents get their children ahead.  Chess is the best way to do that.  It has all the ingredients to make the best brain and I believe we have created a learning experience that allows kids at a very young age to gobble up good learning tactics.  Every day is my favorite day of the week when you get to play games and tell stories!

Find Out More


On Callum | Striped Top and Zip Up Jacket by Trico Field | JEANS by I Dig Denim | High Tops by Supra

 On Gabi | T-Shirt and Zip Up Jacket by Beau Loves UK | JEANS by I Dig Denim | High Tops by Supra