Interview: Q&A with Kathleen of Smoke

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Kathleen Currie - Smoke

Name & Age:

Kathleen Currie, age 31

Professional Title:

Owner of Smoke Perfume & Massage Therapist

A little background: 

I grew up in Belize, and from day one spent my time in nature, playing outside, eating fresh food. 

There was no fast food or shopping malls or mass consumerism growing up. Local was the only existence I knew! 

This went on to shape me in many ways!  I studied holistic health in college, and became a personal trainer, and later, massage therapist. I was always very creative and painted and made art throughout my life.  I love the solitude of the creative process, but gave up painting to attend massage school while working full-time.  

How did you become a perfumer?

I created Smoke in 2009, when I moved to New Orleans, after falling in love with aromatherapy while working as a massage therapist.  I created a blend that would become my signature scent, and it took on a life of it's own!  While the process was accidental, I feel like working with scent is a very exciting medium for me to work in--it reminds me of cooking!  

How do you source your ingredients?  

Quality is very important to me.  I like to buy oils that are available in bulk (since I use a lot of oils for my perfumes, candles, and scrubs), but also really high quality and ethically sourced. Eden botanicals is my favorite essential oils company!  

What are some of your preferred signature scents?

My line is unisex, and that is important to me. I prefer my fragrances to tow the line, not too floral/feminine and not too musky or heavy. I like a full-bodied yet natural scent.  

What are some challenges you face with running a beauty brand online? 

Exposure and consistency! 

Also, it's difficult to sell perfume online, people need to smell it and try it!  I've had alot of fun with Instagram, and it's a great networking tool!  Giveaways have been successful for me.  

If you could invite any individual for an intimate dinner who would it be? What would you ask?

From a perfumer's standpoint, I'd love to have dinner with Cleopatra!  There are so many fascinating rumors swirling about her lavish perfume use. I'd love to separate truth from fiction!  She literally bathed in the most wonderful all-natural plant essences, sailed on ships with perfumed sails, and more! 

She's the ultimate example of lavish self-care. 

She was a true queen and treated herself as such! I think every woman could learn from her unapologetic self-care.  Also, I'd love to girl talk about Marc Antony.  

 IMAGE CREDIT - Monica Bellucci as Cleopatra

IMAGE CREDIT - Monica Bellucci as Cleopatra

Can you share some of your favorite LOCAL spots in NOLA?

I love the herb shop Rosalie Apothecary for bulk herbs and Bacchanal for beautiful outdoor dining, wine, music, and food. Peche for delicious seafood and fun atmosphere. The New Orleans Athletic Club boasts a gorgeous marble steam room, and is the oldest gym in the nation and has elegant high ceilings and a saline pool.  City Park is my favorite urban nature spot.  There's a huge live oak tree filled with wind chimes that I love to meditate under.  

Describe your brand in the 3 words:

Natural, Elegant, Beloved.

Favorite quote or proverb:

"Happiness begins with Gratitude" - Unknown

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Business: Gigi Hadid "Social Supermodel"

 IMAGE CREDIT -  ADWEEK

IMAGE CREDIT - ADWEEK

In the last year Gigi Hadid has scored contracts with Tom Ford, Victoria's Secret Pink, and Maybelline.

And the 19-year-old, dubbed one of the 'Instagirls,' by Vogue, can credit part of that to her massive internet following, with the star boasting 2.5 million followers on Instagram.

The model is seen showing off her stunning figure in just a towel in one of a series of stunning photos she shot for the latest issue of Adweek, wherein she discussed her dedication to social media, and the wave of models like her who are changing the game.

She may be an "Instagirl" but Gigi Hadid remains at the top of the style totem pole, taking over Paris Fashion Week, snagging the covers of Teen Vogue (with Binx Walton) and AdWeek, and appearing in a Vogue spread with bestie Kendall Jenner.

Following her first two Guess campaigns and appearances on her mother's (Yolanda Foster) reality show - The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills - she began hosting Q&A sessions called ' Ask Gigi' on her Twitter account.  

After high school Gigi relocated to New York to study criminal psychology at The New School - though she later took a leave of absence to focus on modeling full-time. 

By the end of the model's freshman year she had debuted at New York Fashion Week and booked a gig with Tom Ford, later adding runway jobs with Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Chanel.

She continued to grow her following - bringing it to over 1.5 million by sharing selfies, behind-the-scenes shots from photo shoots and runways, and a look at her daily life, family, and friends (including stars such as Kendall Jenner and boyfriend Cody Simpson). 

For example, Gigi shared a photo from her AdWeek photo shoot on Wednesday, thanking the make-up artist for her look.

 IMAGE CREDIT -  @GIGIHADID

IMAGE CREDIT - @GIGIHADID

yesterday on set: eyebrows on fleeeeek bc @makeupvincent kills the game. also pinky up for da cutest mini coffee cup' she captioned the photo.

Experts such as editors at fashion magazines Teen Vogue and Harper's Bazaar say that having a large social media following can now have a major impact on whether or not you land important beauty and fashion contracts. 

'If a model happens to come with a few thousand or a few million followers, that's amazing for brands,' Harper's Bazaar Executive Editor Laura Brown said.

'Especially if you're a brand that wants to target a new, younger demographic, you'd have to consider [hiring] those girls in a second.'

'Social media has allowed these girls to have a voice and a platform and not just be some random, anonymous model,' Teen Vogue Editor in Chief Amy Astley added.  

'It's becoming something more and more that the ad clients are looking for - and all the girls know it. The game is definitely changing.'

  IMAGE CREDIT -   ADWEEK

IMAGE CREDIT - ADWEEK

In January, Gigi snagged her biggest gig yet - a contract with Maybelline - and it was due in no small part to her massive social media presence.

'Gigi is extremely connected, and beyond being connected, she is fantastically engaged with women around the world,' said Leonardo Chavez, Maybelline's global brand president.  

The massive media presence of 'Instagirls' is also about building a personal brand in order to branch out following their modeling careers. 

'What people want to know is, OK, what's after modeling? And that's forcing us to think about those things [even earlier],' Gigi said. 

'It's not just OK anymore to model until you're 25 and then stop and be a housewife,' she continued, before sharing that she'd like to return to college to finish her degree.

However, Gigi admitted she'd like to stay in the spotlight, hosting a cooking or talk show, adding: 'I'm an entertainer, and I think that I'll always be in that business.'

The star also suggested she could put her criminal psychology degree to use in the entertainment world: 'Who knows? I could always be a fact checker on CSI.'

  IMAGE CREDIT -   ADWEEK

IMAGE CREDIT - ADWEEK

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