Birds of a Feather - Raili Clasen

Ok, so you know when you’ve had a friend for a very long time and they go ‘BIG TIME’? That’s how we feel about Raili Clasen. We met Raili over fifteen years ago at Quiksilver, where we both worked in design (Birgit) and Marketing (Kenna). And now she’s one of the HOTTEST interior designers in California (and, believe me, she was no wall-flower back then either). We are so stoked for her well-deserved success and it has been awesome to watch. She’s been featured everywhere but to name a few: Architectural Digest, C Home, Dwell and if you missed her recent story in Sunset Magazine you have to check it out! It will make you want to buy a beach shack immediately (and have her design it!). We are kinda obsessed with her designs; think ‘California clean’ mixed with ‘fun eclectic’ mixed with ‘a smirk’ and you have Raili. Both in person and her designs.

So we met up with her at her design studio (RailiCA)and laughed our way through a mini photoshoot. And, of course, we took some time to ask her questions about her life, style and career. Here they are below. Enjoy. B&K

beek: When we met you (we won’t date ourselves by saying what year) you were the National Sales rep for for Roxy. Now you do amazing Interior Design (we are obsessed). Tell us about how you made a jump from sales to interiors?

RC: I very much dove into interior design head first with zero experience and zero fear. I hired a designer to help with our remodel and one week into it she decided to move to England. I just grabbed all the catalogs I could find and went for it by myself. I loved it so much I decided, ‘hey I’m going to try this! Worst case scenario no one will like my designs and I’ll move on to something else.’

beek: Where do you get inspiration?

RC: I’ve been super lucky to work with some of the most creative people in the surf industry. I spent so much time in the visual department of Quiksilver, and the design rooms at Paul Frank. I started to form opinions, style and it exploded from there. I get out of Orange County A LOT when I am in need of new inspo. New York is a favorite for design inspo, especially new shops, hotels and even the bathrooms in boutique hotels.

beek: What advice do you have for women thinking about changing professions?

RC: Well, two things: it will probably be the scariest thing ever, but will be a LIFE changer if you get to do something you love and turn it into a career. With design, there wasn’t much up-front financial investment but it might not be the same if you are trying to open a store or restaurant. I think you have to be 110% committed and don’t listen for one second to the doubters. That seems to be the biggest roadblock to amazing ideas out there.

beek: What current styles of decorating are you loving these days?

RC: In my dreams, I am designing a 1920’s Spanish Hacienda. Knowing those are not plentiful around here, I do love so many kinds of décor. We are working on everything from farmhouses to contemporary beach homes right now and I love them all. It also makes us start new with each project and not just rest on our good ideas from the recent design plans.

beek: What is one thing that we can all change in our houses, that makes a huge difference?

RC: Paint! White and bright is a game changer. Taking heavy things like dated drapes out and updating accessories/rugs and pillows. Easy breezy and is such a great update.

beek: If you could survive with only three clothing brands for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

RC: Levis, Jenni Kayne, and Levis J . . . and beek sandals of course!!

beek: You’ve travelled the world. Please tell us your top three favorite cities for inspiration:

RC: New York, San Miguel de Allende, and Berlin

beek: What’s one item in your closet that you wouldn’t sell for all the money in the world:

RC: It’s all for sale!! I do have one sweatshirt from college that is thread bare that I love.. but doubt anyone would even touch it let alone want it. I definitely do not get attached to things..

beek: What is your favorite sandal from the new spring beek collection (I know, impossible to pick just one, but let’s try :-)?

RC: Easy.. The Swallow.. I have them in silver AND tan..

beek: Do you believe in ghosts?

RC: No.. but I am scared of people who do.

beek: Are you more chocolate or vanilla?

RC: Vanilla. With toppings of course.

beek: Favorite fiction book of all time:

RC: The Other Boleyn Girl..cheesy but indulgent.

beek: Favorite rom-com of all time:

RC: The Notebook.. I know, cheesy again!

beek: Do you watch the bachelor (cuz its our dirty little secret)?

RC: I tried but the crazy ones that they put in there send me over the edge.

Comin' in HOT for Summer!

Color is in full effect for 2018 and we couldn’t possibly be more excited for it. We’re ready for warm sunny days and balmy nights. We’re ready to go barefoot (it’s our preference really) and throw on our flowy dresses. We’re ready to bbq with friends, kiss babies and jump in the ocean. SUMMER WE ARE READY FOR YOU!

 

For this collection we are loving the hand woven tapestry that our women’s collective down in Chiapas Mexico is making special for us. The LOVEBIRD is a new style that comes in both a bright colorful rainbow and a more bold black/natural stripe. Backed with buttery soft leather, this slide is going to be a favorite ‘go-to’ for all your summer activities. And STUDS! We are dressing up this cute little bird with some bling! In both black and tan, this classic just got some extra party fun.

 

Kenna’s pick for summer is the SKIMMER. The softest leather will wrap around your ankle for a fun ‘gladiator-inspired’ ankle tie. In both tan and distressed gold, it’s both fun and flirty.

 

Birgit’s pick for summer is the OSPREY. Another amazing ‘slide on and go’ with a woven flair. Each pair is weaved, totally by hand, in Sahuayo Mexico in the old-world way. In both ‘nude’, black and rose-gold, there’s something for everyone. Birgit’s fave is the nude. . . The COCKATIEL is a favorite new style of the team. Again, we take hand-woven leather and wrap it over the in-step of the foot. Add a toe-ring and an extra little strap and the style becomes just a little bit more feminine and fun. And due to popular demand (i.e. all of you who have written into our website), our chocolate brown color is back. Yay!

 

And we can’t forget about our new little PUFFBIRD - our first ever ‘flatform’. This little bird still gives you the molded arch for ease but also gives you some height for a new perspective. :-) Hope you enjoy them all!

 

WISHING YOU ALL A FANTASTIC SUMMER!

xx, b&k

beek x Vitamin A

Drum roll please. . . we have an awesome new collaboration that we are doing with the iconic (and fellow Southern California beach brand) Vitamin A swimwear! And we couldn’t be more excited. If you don’t know VItamin A, you need to! They are the ultimate in luxury swimwear with (we think) the best fitting suits in the market. We fell instantly in love the first time we wore them. And this collection of sandals is the perfect capsule for the coastal lifestyle.

It’s part of our new ‘bird collection’ (a lower priced group that mixes leather uppers with genuine rubber soles- again, perfect for the pool or beach!) Comprised of a classic flip flop, perforated soccer slide and gladiator, the collection is being sold at both brands’ current shops including resorts and spas, specialty swim and lingerie stores, high-end boutiques and national retailers. We met the founder of Vitamin A, Amahlia, through mutual friends, as there are many connections since we all live in Orange County. Meeting to simply discuss partnering on marketing events, we quickly discovered similar brand values and shared goals for our brands. Our convo shifted gears to possibly partnering on product- and it was all easy from there! This is Vitamin A’s first time moving into footwear and beek’s first co-branded product. We hope you love them!

Birds of a Feather - Kelly LeVeque

If you don't know Kelly LeVeque, you will thank us for the introduction. She is not only a RAD person and inspiring friend, she's also an expert in all things nutrition and body wellness. Don’t we all need a little bit of that in our lives!? And her approach is so optimistic and fun that she makes eating well and living a healthy life something we actually WANT to do. :-) We say love your bodies! And she does too. Life’s too short to be constantly dieting. Plus it makes us grumpy. We recently spent the afternoon with Kelly on International Women's Day, and she shared with us, and ten other inspiring women, her beliefs about whole body health and nutrition.

Afterwards, we sat down with Kelly to ask her some questions about life, but before we share, she deserves a TINY bit of background (again, because she is RAD, and there’s proof of this):

1. She's a holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, (oh, and . . .) celebrity health coach (Jessica Alba and Molly Sims to name a few). See, we told you she’s rad.

2. She is passionate about the science of human nutrition (she may just be the cutest book worm we've ever met).

3. She ACTUALLY cooks. And loves it. She's extremely involved in her recipes and believes that food should taste good (we agree) AND be nutritious (yeah yeah, we agree to that too). :-)

4. She completed her undergrad degrees at USC (go trojans!?!) and her post graduate degrees at UCLA and UC Berkley (hmmmm…now those are some rivalries). Smart cookie to say the least.

5. She just wrote and published the most amazingly fantastic inspiring book on nutrition that you will ever read, called “Body Love”and you need to go buy it (and, yes, read it). Seriously, its awesome. It won’t flip you out or make you feel like a loser like most nutrition books, we promise.

Ok, now that we’ve properly introduced her, lets ask her some questions:

 

beek: We know you are all about the “FAB4”. Can you describe what this is for our audience in 1-2 sentences?

 

KL: Eat the FAB 4! The Fab Four (protein, fat, fiber and greens) is a light structure I built to help my clients remember what nourishing foods they should eat to elongate their blood-sugar curve, support hormone production, microbiome proliferation and healthy body composition. Eating the Fab Four at each meal keeps your body and your cravings satiated for hours by calming various hunger-related hormones; protein, fat and fiber induces Cholecystokinin (CCK – “satiety hormone”), protein and leafy green vegetables increases Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1 – “full hormone”) and a fiber and protein-based meal increases concentrations of Peptide YY (PYY – “Control Hormone”) which all reduce appetite. If you have enough protein, fat, and fiber at each meal, you can elongate your blood sugar curve, which means you will have the energy and fuel to easily move towards ditching the snacks. Not to mention, this window will allow your body to properly digest your food, surge with human growth hormone and testosterone to burn fat, calm insulin levels (to allow for fat burning), and make you feel more relaxed.

 

beek: If you could take just ONE THING out of everyone’s eating habits, what would it be?

 

KL: That's easy, sugar.

 

beek: If you could put one thing INTO everyone’s eating regimen, what would it be?

 

KL: Omega 3, its the best anti-inflammatory for the body and brain.

 

beek: Favorite spice?

 

KL: Ceylon Cinnamon

 

beek: Top five favorite junk foods?

 

KL: Siete chips and Salsa/Guac, Popcorn, Justin's Peanut Butter Cups, Srsly Bread toasted with butter, Salt and Straw Ice Cream

 

beek: Have you always had a fascination with nutrition? Where did it come from?

 

KL: Yes! I have loved it since my High School Health class. I also read dozens of diet books in high school.

 

beek: What made you finally break out on your own?

 

KL: Be Well by Kelly was a side hustle for 2.5 years, in September of 2015 I finally had to make the leap and take it full time because of demand.

 

beek: What advice do you have for women thinking about starting their own business?

 

KL: Invest in it; time, money and effort. Don't let a day go by without spending time in it.

 

beek: What’s one item in your closet that you wouldn’t sell for all the money in the world (or just ‘really really love’, cuz lets be honest there’s a price for everything):

 

KL: Navy leather jacket by IRO

 

beek: What is your favorite sandal from the new spring beek collection (I know, impossible to pick just one, but lets try :-)?

 

KL: Lark Sandal - in Black

 

beek: Do you believe in ghosts?

 

KL: Yes. I don't know why but I just do.

 

beek: If you could have a theme song for your life, what would it be?

 

KL: It changes daily but currently...... Bebe Rexha - Meant to be!

 

beek: Are you more chocolate or vanilla?

 

KL: Vanilla!

 

beek: Favorite fiction book of all time:

 

KL: PS - I Love you!

 

beek: Favorite rom-com of all time:

 

KL: How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days

 

beek: Do you watch the bachelor (cuz its our dirty little secret)?

 

KL: I was all for Janu-Arie. Finally, a smokin hot bachelor! LOL

International Women's Day

As we celebrate “International Women’s Day” we reflect on starting a business and how affected we are by the powerful women who have paved the way and supported us through this journey. What started out with a simple glass of chardonnay and girl-chat, turned into a business plan and a wild ride.

I get the pleasure of doing all the writing for the brand (this is Kenna :-) and so I get to sneak in little comments about Birgit when she isn’t looking (or reading). She is not just my business partner and the best footwear designer that I’ve ever worked with, but she is a woman who single-handedly raised two children, ran multi-million dollar businesses, and still finds time to be a woman of substance and a dear friend. I celebrate her today.

And we both (here’s where I can speak for both of us) want to thank all of the women who surround us here at beek and make our brand and business possible. Annette, Natalie, Tevis, Anna, Julie, Angela: we COULD NOT do this without you ladies. Cheers to all the women in this world taking a risk, making a difference, and supporting one another. We think you all rock!

it’s like walking on happiness...

We are soooo ready for spring! Our collection of hand-made, all-leather sandals (with our signature molded arch for support!) is our favorite since launch. This season we are all about COLOR. But not just any color... HAPPY color. How can you not have a good day when you’re wearing a fuchsia colored sandal with pops of silver? Or bright orange mixed with a rich beautiful tan?  or aqua... or rose... or gold! We could go on and on, we think it’s like walking on happiness.

And to make it even more fun, we’ve partnered with our dear friend Marisa from m.lande to gift you a free AMAZING leather pouch with any online purchase during the month of February. Yay!

We have EIGHT new styles this spring, and (don’t worry) we are continuing on with three classics in new colors... the Finch (you can breathe a sigh of relief now), the Lark and the Swallow. The Finch, our classic toe-ring slide, now comes in eight colors, and we are keeping the classic black and tan in the Lark, and adding a fun multi to our huarache, the Swallow. HOW FUN IS THAT??

And we are super excited about our NEW styles.

The Gull is an update to our classic Robin slide: one for the more urban look with a slick all-black, and one for the beach party with a bright fuscia sole mixed with silver and natural.

The Oriole is our sexiest new style with a ‘barely there’ look. A simple wrap around the ankle and a toe-ring to finish it off, you will be surprised at how comfortable this sandal fits on the foot. The Canary is part of our new “soft tube” leather group and its as soft as butter. You simply slide it on and tie it in the back and you are off and out the door. The Cockatoo is a classic ‘soccer slide’ with a modern metal ring sitting on top. It's chic and classic. And we have two new ‘stud’ styles. The Lorikeet and Woodpecker have hand-pounded studs that give these classic styles a little funk.

And we CAN’T WAIT to show you our new woven styles, the Dove and Toucan. The bands are completely woven by hand by a women’s collective in Chiapas Mexico. They use traditional weaving techniques on a hand-loom and their creations are pieces of art. We’ve backed them with super soft leather so they sit comfortably on your feet. We made a press trip out to New York in January and the Dove was the land-slide favorite across the board. From Vanity Fair to Vogue to Town and Country- they all were dying over the hand-woven look paired with leather. And everyone was swooning over the femininity of the Toucan, a beautiful ‘espadrille-inspired’ style.

And let’s not forget the bird collection! Our new group of rubber outsole (the bottom of the shoe) sandals has been a big hit for beach and pool time and summer boating. Both simple styles, the Mockingbird and Seabird are a little lighter on the wallet and an easy go-to for your casual spring/summer days.

And to top it all off, our soles have become EVEN MORE flexible and moldable to your feet (we will even take them back if they aren’t!), AND the arch still makes for the most comfortable all-leather sandal in the market. Yes, beauty CAN be comfortable. Let’s celebrate!

We hope you love the collection; we’re so excited to share this with you.

Sending happiness your way,

xx Birgit & Kenna

Second Harvest Food Bank Event

Thank you to everyone who joined us for an amazing day of giving-back at the Second Harvest Food Bank on Saturday September 30th. What an AWESOME day. You know, sometimes you go into something thinking “this is the right thing to do so I’ll do it” or “I want to teach my children to give back to their community so I’ll make time for it” . . . and then you get SURPRISED. You come out of it and you realize that you were affected. Like, really affected. In a good way, AND a hard way. You feel lucky that you do have food on your table and your children aren’t going hungry at night. And your heart hurts knowing that some are. And then you start getting dirty. You dig in.

The Second Harvest Food bank feeds over 250,000 adults and children every month in Orange County. Their facility houses tons of food at a time and distributes all over the area to families in need. When we say it’s impressive, that might be an understatement. It’s amazing.

They spent the first hour of our day educating us (and the children) on what they do and how they do it. And WHY they do it. Then we got to work.

The young kids packed hygiene materials into bags (toothpaste, soap etc.) with a vengeance. They were so excited to be ‘giving kids soap.” We kept it fun but also worked hard. No slacking for these little guys!

The older kids (5 years and up) and adults spent about an hour and a half packing up squash. It doesn’t sound very fun but it was! Doing something physical to help other people is super satisfying, and it makes you feel like you are really doing something that will make a difference. We were expecting to enjoy our day, but were pleasantly surprised to have LOVED our day.

Thank you to the team at the Second Harvest Food bank who helped make this such an awesome and impactful experience. And thank you to all of our friends and their kids for lending their time and a helping hand!

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this fall we are all about SOFT!

squeeze ‘em, scrunch ‘em,

. . . heck, go ahead and cuddle up with ‘em

                   

this fall we are all about SOFT.

our collection is made with the most buttery vegetable tanned leather we could find.

you just want to scrunch it up and hug it (or maybe we just do). and we use no heel cups (that stiff leather at the heel of a shoe) or toe boxes (again, the hard backing used to keep the toe stiff), so the beauty of our styles comes through the ‘lack of structure’. something we should maybe adopt for life too right?

                   

we’re introducing three new styles this season: the owl, goose and duck (yeah you heard that right . . . finding “fall” bird names is not so easy). they are built on our all-natural crepe sole, using a soft yummy nubuck, with our signature molded arch.

                   

we’ve also added new colors to our favorite birds from last fall: the puffin, egret and seagull. we are loving the ‘old gold’ and ‘copper’ for a little pizazz and the ‘brown/black calf hair’ for a touch of sophistication.

                   

we are so excited about this collection. we hope you are too.

hands that construct traditions

the ancient craft of hand weaving is alive and well in mexico. this season we’ve partnered with a textile cooperative down in Chiapas to pair their beautiful creations with our sandals ... and the effect is gorgeous; giving a further hand-crafted feel to an already hand-crafted product.

this workshop uses only pedal looms, with zero carbon imprint, and they are totally dedicated to creating the highest quality “without losing the Tzotzil roots and insuring that the pieces reflect the traditions of Zinacantan."

we are proud to be a part of this ‘ode to the past! and we hope you love them as much as we do!

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hello summer! 


we’ve been waiting for you...

this season we’re inspired by so much, but in particular our travels all over mexico and california. we’ve been road trippin’ and 
it’s evident in the designs.

to kick off our favorite time of year, we’ve teamed up with our friend, the lovely and talented, serena mitnik-miller, whose beautiful artwork  has been an inspiration to our group for years.

we are so thrilled to see her signature watercolor compositions translate onto leather, creating a completely unique collection that is both fun and playful yet beautiful and inspiring. you can almost feel the ocean and surfing lifestyle come through in her lines and geo shapes.

serena created two special paintings exclusively for beek, and we are honored to showcase them on the finch and parrot styles this season.

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we love this crepe!

we're going "au naturel"

real crepe harvested directly from rubber trees, makes for the most comfortable sole you will ever wear.

and with our signature molded arch they're even more comfortable... and RAD. for those of you who like pictures, we've desribed our process below.

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mix & match metallics

oh how we love metallics.



especially when paired with leather. it’s a contradiction of sorts and we kinda dig it. remember that stevie nicks song from the 80’s ‘leather and lace”?. . . it’s kinda like that. (if you’re reading this and you’re under the age of 35 we probably just lost your attention; unless you’re a vintage stevie nicks fan and then you’re just RAD). anyhooooo . . .  back to us loving metallics.  paired with our soft, vegetable tanned leather they tone down and don’t seem quite so ‘blingy’ or high maintenance. or dressy for that matter. we’re not really blingy people by nature but we do love a feminine, pretty look and we think this is the perfect way to do it.



our collection launched with our signature rose gold (paired with tan) and now we’ve expanded into silver (with natural), platinum (with natural), and bronze (with black). all of these combos are beautiful, rich and perfect for the warm weather coming our way.



Hope you love them. xx b&k

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beeks in the city!

yes, we’re beach girls . . . we live in california, we love the sand, and the waves and the sun. BUT, we also love a modern style to pair with a glass of wine and our favorite guys (or girls) for a great night out.


we’ve curated a little collection of our most ‘city-chic’ styles. lots of black, lots of metal and lots of sass. and what’s better than a beautiful pair of sandals that are actually comfortable? throw away those heels!
xx b&k

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the finch is back!

oh how we love this little bird! the finch was a style in our very first collection (waaaaay back in 2015- ha! . . . yes, we know we are not that old yet). BUT it has been the darling of each season, with its beautiful simplicity and ease.

it’s the perfect sandal for cruising out the door last minute, dashing off to a summer bonfire, or sliding on for a beach wedding. it dresses up, and it dresses down. we can’t get enough of it, and we know you can’t either seeing that we know many women who own them in every color. :-)

we have nine colors for spring. two of our favorites are the mineral die and the hand tooling.

we’ve partnered with our friend Niki from “lookout & wonderland” to tie-dye the new ‘mineral’ finch. she is an incredible authentic indigo dyer (you may remember her from last spring where we debuted her indigo collection) up in los angeles and she used iron to create this beautiful grey color for our little finch. we freaked out when we saw it! she’s amazing.

we also commissioned a hand-tooling group down in mexico to carve out beautiful engravings into the leather and then hand-paint them for a fun festive look. the epitome of ‘hand made”!

hope you love them as much as we do!! xx b&k

hello spring!!

we are OVER THE MOON with this new spring collection. yes, yes yes, we know we are biased . . . but we think it’s the best EVER, and we have something for everyone. and with new heel pads for grip, a softer, more flexible leather sole, and our constant attention to fit, you will never find more comfortable, durable, BEAUTIFUL sandals in the market.

bright black

black on black is coming on strong and we can’t resist the sophistication of this combo. we’ve punched it up a bit with silver hardware (for a bird in the city look!)

hot for metallics

the reaction to our metallics has been pretty awesome. we started with our signature rose gold, then added a beautiful platinum, then a brilliant bronze... and now we are bringing in silver! mixed with a natural sole, this color combination is gorgeous.                  

oh crepe!

this natural material, which is harvested directly from rubber trees, makes for the most flexible, yummy sole you will ever wear. and they have such a cool modern look to them. add in our signature molded arch they’re even more comfortable. . . and RAD.

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it all started with the finch!

since we launched the brand in 2015, the finch has been the best selling sandal we’ve ever had. we think that the reaction to this slide has something to do with its simplicity and ease. (and possibly the good association with long vacations and good memories!)



out of all the styles we’ve made, this has always been the one with the most deep seeded love and affection. both by us internally (birgit and kenna and the whole team). and all the crazy customer service emailers who freak out whenever we go out of stock. :-)


it was also our first big celebrity hit, with lily aldridge wearing her finches to LAX airport when she was named to vogue’s best dressed list. yay!


this little bird just seems to be entrenched in our hearts. . . and don't worry, it’s not going away anytime soon. we wouldn't want to deal with the wrath!

xx b+k

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Our toes get cold too!

why is it that you can’t find closed-toe shoes that are comfortable, feminine, and totally unconstructed? it’s like they don’t exist! so, once again, we set out to (selfishly) create a line of footwear that WE wanted. after-all, we can’t wear sandals ALL year. (although we try.)

introducing beek's new shoe collection! the partridge, the puffin, the egret and the seagull. actual closed-toe real shoes! but done beek style: totally unconstructed upper, soft, comfortable and still with a beautiful molded arch. what makes them different from other shoes in the market is their comfort and ease. we created these with no ‘toe-box’ and no ‘heel-cup’ so they hug your feet like a leather slipper. you have to feel them to understand… your feet are going to fall in love!

the egret

for all you crazy ladies who have snatched up our finch sandals like they are becoming extinct, we wanted to give you something to wear during the chillier months. a more modern take on a leather flat. and way cooler.

the seagull

we’ve partnered with the legendary a’maree’s store in newport beach, california for this easy timeless slide. simply beautiful, the seagull will be your go-to for indian summer and early fall. the soft leather forms to your foot and makes you feel like you are wearing your (uber-chic) slippers out of the house (yes they are THAT comfortable!)

the puffin

instantly comfortable. totally un-constructed. soft buttery leather. slide right on: no hardware no fuss. it’s the perfect bootie for kicking around town. we like to call it an elf boot in the office. maybe cuz it’s so darn cute?

the partridge

oh why are oxfords so damn serious! we want one that doesn’t scream uptight office, preppy snobbery, or tea and crumpets. this one is verrrry relaxed, easy breezy, and about as comfortable as your socks. but totally acceptable to wear in public.

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Kat & Roger

K&R ceramics is the collaborative effort of two inspiring Los Angeles artists Kat Hutter and Roger Lee. They’ve created an amazing collection of high-fired stoneware, hand-thrown by Roger and hand-painted by Kat. Their K&R ceramics collection is sold through exclusive retailers throughout the U.S. and has caught the attention of the media, art world . . . and us!

After seeing their pottery in a shop in Austin Texas, and falling in love, we approached (...or stalked, call it what you will) Kat and Roger in 2015 with the idea of collaborating on a new painted print, inspired by their pottery, for use on our leather sandals. They were excited about the idea and jumped right to work. And the results are even more amazing then we had anticipated.

This limited edition collection is truly a work of art for you and your feet! Shop the collection here.

 

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The Art of Hand-Tooling

The art of “leather tooling” has been around for centuries. History documents Spanish Moors, back in the middle ages, using hand- carved leather to decorate their homes. And this craft became even more popular when cowboys and ranchers of the “wild west” took pride in elaborately tooled saddles and chaps, as an expression of personal style.

We became interested in this old world craft during one of our inspiration trips to Mexico and learned that this time-consuming process involves hand-carving etchings into leather to create a beautiful piece of art (most commonly flowers or patterns), and is much more intense than a simple ‘emboss,’ which is most often done with machines. The Mexican culture takes great pride in their hand-tooling, and the skills are often passed down from generation to generation.

As we learned more, we fell even more in love with this craft. We asked around about ‘tooling houses’ and found one that has been around for over 20 years. The process is beautiful to watch as individual artists utilize tools to carve out the leather into shapes. The designs take shape right in front of your eyes.
Each piece of tooled leather in this collection was hand-carved by a leather artisan in Leon, Mexico, and we personally think the results are amazing. Every sandal is completely unique and a piece of art; one that we hope will still be around for many generations to come!

Shop the collection here.

Hand-Dyed Indigo Leather

The ancient craft of indigo-dying dates back to 2000 BC, as proven by the existence of it in mummy tombs in Egypt. Pretty cool, right? Unfortunately most indigo these days is synthetic, but thanks to some die-hard loyalists, this ancient craft is now a revered art.

Indigo is a colorfast, plant-based dye primarily found in indigofera, and the process to dye cloth with this natural substance is quite intensive - starting with fermenting the leaves in a steeping vat until completely reduced to remove all the oxygen. the fiber is then introduced to the indigo vat and color is created through oxidization. Darker colors are created by multiple dips which can take up to 30 days. Once dyed, indigo cloth is so colorfast that it can last for centuries (thus the evidence with the mummies!) this is the type of stuff that totally fascinates us (we hope it does you too).

We teamed up with Los Angeles based indigo artist, researcher, and natural medicine practitioner Niki Livingston who has been studying and practicing ancient indigo dying techniques for more than 12 years. We were already pretty obsessed with her cloth creations so we approached her about taking a stab at dying leather- a new medium for her. . . and she, of course, blew us away with what she came back with. Each and every one of these indigo-dyed beek sandals were personally hand-dyed by niki herself. We hope you love them as much as we do. Shop the collection here.

Lost & Found Style

For our final stop in our Shop Style Series, we went to the uber cool Lost & Found in Hollywood. It was dangerous for us to spend so much time there, because we wanted to redo our wardrobes, bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens by the time we left, and fill them up with the amazing treasures that owner Jamie Rosenthal brings back from around the world. Her impeccable taste makes for a setting full of eye candy.

We had the pleasure of styling super cute and fun blogger, Brittany Xavier, of ThriftsandThreads, in Lost & Found's covetable arrray of brands like Ulla Johnson, BSBEE, Local Apparel, Nili Lotan and Aris Geldis.

Laguna Supply Style

At the fourth stop in our Shop Style Series, we headed back to our local hood to shoot at one of our favorite boutiques, Laguna Supply. Owners, and good friends, Dana Marron and Laura Hart, put their personal (and awesome!) spin on the perfect looks for beek. This time, we were joined by two lovely OC bloggers, Jen Wilson of Modern Ensemble and Lyndi Kennedy of Lyndi in the City. Already friends themselves, they had the best time playing dress-up together in all of the beautiful clothes at Laguna Supply from brands like Ulla Johnson, Nili Lotan, Raquel Allegra and Isabel Marant.

 

Elizabeth and Prince Style

Next up on our shop style series was Elizabeth & Prince in sunny La Quinta, California. We kicked off the warm bright morning with iced teas (of course!) from Old Town Coffee Company with owners AnaLisa and Shawn Holoubek, while styling looks on local (and fabulous) blogger Kelly Lee of KellyGoLightly.com. Playing with a mix of brands like Mara Hoffman, Ulla Johnson and Ace&Jig, it was hard to not be dreaming of a tropical getaway somewhere far, far away by the end of the afternoon!

 

A'maree's Style

We love our amazing boutiques that sell beek! This Spring we will be teaming up every month with the owners of a different boutique in Southern California to see how they would personally style our sandals with the brands in their store. You're in for endless outfit inspiration!!!

First up: the iconic A'maree's in Newport Beach where we recently celebrated the launch of our Spring season! Owners, Dawn, Denise and Apryl, played with shades of white to create four clean and airy Spring looks. Modeled by beautiful local blogger and model, Jen Hawkins, of Palms-to-Pines, these ensembles are sure to have you longing for sunshine and sandals.

beek spring launch party at A'maree's

We debuted our new Spring 2016 collection on Friday, February 5th at A’maree’s in Newport Beach with 200 of our closest friends and family! Serving A’maree’s signature cocktail (fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, Grey Goose and St. Germain) and wine and snacks from A Market, the party was in full swing by 4pm with live music by Eric Howell, who flew in from Chicago for the event.

Our new sandals were the highlight of the evening, with the debut of our special beek x A'maree's red-soled "hummingbird" style to celebrate the boutique's 40th anniversary, our platinum collection and "the heron," a very popular modern-day huarache slide. We also treated guests to a sneak peek of what’s to come this summer!

Co-founders, Birgit and Kenna, and A’maree’s owners Denise Schaefer, Dawn Klohs and Apryl Schaefer were in attendance along with their mother Nancy Brown, the original founder of the iconic shop. Fashion bloggers, like Jen Hawkins of Palms-to-Pines and Jayne Min of Stop It Right Now, mingled, shopped and enjoyed the sunset alongside apparel and industry insiders from LA and OC. We couldn't have asked for a more fun way to kick off our Spring season!

the robin flies to yosemite

on a recent trip to yosemite, the robins proved to be the perfect transitional sandal... taking us from summer to autumn; the beach to the mountains.

with their wide criss-cross strap, they were comfy enough to double as slippers over a hot mug of coffee in the morning and take us to a late summer bbq on the lawn of the historic wawona hotel at dusk.

in between sandal-friendly activities, we put our hiking boots to use on a short two mile round-trip trek to Artist Point for uncrowded views of Yosemite's infamous "Tunnel View" panorama.

Ansel Adams summed it up perfectly when he said “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” We couldn't agree more!

the sparrow flies to morocco

photographer and friend Stephanie Rausser takes her favorite beek sandals on her adventures abroad.
we tend to go through obsessions here at beek and our latest one is with Stephanie Rausser, not just because she’s talented but also because she’s real, and fun, and quirky and sarcastic . . . all the things that we would want to be described as. we now know that her fave pop star is madonna, drinks lemonade on a regular basis, obsessively watches louis ck (we didn’t even know who he was and now we’re hooked too!) secretly listens to burt bacharach and loves her beeks (no secret there when you see her photos!)

Check some out below!!