Monday, January 9, 2017

Lions in Four

Dear Readers, This is the last post that will be on this site.  I would love for you visit me at my new blogging home MeadowTree Style.

I was so happy that Michael and I had a chance to meet and talk with Sheila that day. As a creative who knits, sews, spins and dyes, I felt immediate respect and connection for this foundation and brand.  And the fact that it is based in Kansas City makes it even more special.

Power, Pride, Confidence, and Courage

Good words to live by and the meaning behind the logo of Lions of Four, a Kansas City based luxury brand with a social conscience. Lions In Four is a mission-based company empowering women. It was co-founded in 2014 by designer Julie Martin and Sheila Martinsen as a way to help Julie's Lions In Four Foundation (formerly WE CARE of India).

Julie's story on the beginning of her foundation is amazing. It is a story of how one brief meeting on a train between Paris and Amsterdam with a nun completely changed her life and mission. That is all I am going to say, because Julie tells it very well HERE.

Michael is the one who noticed the Lions In Four's presentation last Labor Day weekend at a1st Saturday popup event at Varnish and Vine in Kansas City. He was attracted to their necklace, its words of empowerment, and wanted to give each of our daughters for Christmas.

We spent quite a bit of time talking to Shiela Martenten about the the foundation's work with the girls and women of India. I immediately knew that they would have to be a blog post after Christmas--not before because I didn't want the girls to know about one of their gifts. 

Michelle and her necklace.

Ten percent of the brand's proceeds go back to the foundation. More importantly, they are helping women become skilled and independent. Recently, the foundation completed its Women's Training Center building and is now working on getting staff and infrastructure in place to teach the art of hand dying. 

Everything is beautifully presented. Hummmm, I wonder what's in the big box? Could it be a Christmas something for Mom?

Oh, yes! Lions in Four's Amsterdam clutch. As described on their website:

The Amsterdam Leather Clutch in bronze has a sleek, modern look on the outside and a rich, unique story on the inside. This generously sized bag is versatile- it can work for day or dressed up for evening; it can be carried solo or tucked into a larger bag. Each clutch is lined with hand woven, naturally dyed mulberry silk. The lining is handmade by artisans in south India so no two pieces are alike.

• Soft, recycled leather clutch (50% recycled leather, 50% polyurethane) with gold metal studs
• 100% silk lining dyed with all natural, non-toxic dyes
• Alcantara® suede lined interior pocket protects sunglasses and cell phones
• Roomy dimensions: 12″x8″ – fits everything from daily essentials to an iPad
• Manufactured in NYC

The interior of The Amsterdam clutch. The hand woven, resist dyed silk makes one of the most beautiful bag interiors that I think I have ever seen.

Michael and I are going to the Kansas City symphony January 13th. Usually, I post what I wear then on Instagram. Here's a preview. Needless to say, my new clutch is going. It wasn't hard to find items in my closet to complement my new bag. The pants are sewn by me and have already been seen HERE.

My gold silk blouse is a vintage Escada by Margaretha Ley I found on eBay around 2005. In those days, one could pick up wonderfully designed pieces by her at a very favorable price. With the blouse's lace and jewel collar and cuffs, no other jewelry is really required. It also has hidden buttons, a feature I love in blouses. 

I simply tied a chiffon scarf around my waist for a simple sash to complete the main look. The last item would be the shoes which are J Reneé and are black and gold themselves. However, it seems to me that they have a slight holographic personality. It shows up in my still life below. I picked these shoes up a few years ago at Joplin's Sophie's. When we have Thanksgiving in Joplin, the girls and I always try to go to the Small Business Saturday events and we usually find something we like at Sophies.

If it was warmer outside, I would just wear my large cut velvet scarf as a wrap. Can you believe that I got it at Tuesday Morning?

Likely it will be cold when we go to the symphony, so I will add my vintage quilted cotton/viscose Escada by Margaretha Ley jacket, that I got from eBay about the same time as the blouse. It has gorgeous embroidery and beading, not visible in this photo--but notice below.

The velvet gloves with the cheetah edging will be going too. Now, I won't be wearing my sunglasses but it was so bright the day we took this shot, my eyes would have been squinting and you wouldn't have seen them anyway!


Black and Gold-my still life study that show the jacket's embroidery work and the holo quality of the shoes. You also get a peek of the jacket's black and white silk lining.

The Painted Accessory
Of course on the evening for the symphony, I will wear nail polish I am completely enamored with: a beautiful golden holographic by Literary Lacquer. It's Darcy (yes, Jane Austin's Mr. Darcy). It may be a gold but, oh, there's a lot going on there.

Before I end, I want to include the following from the Lions In Four website. For me, each point makes their jewelry, scarfs, and bags meaningful:

What's Special About Our Products...

  • We only use Riri Italian zippers in our bags. These zippers are found only in the highest end designer bags.
  • The ostrich leather used on our clutches is the same grade and sourced from the same mill in South Africa that Hermes uses to produce its ostrich bags.
  • The Alcantara suede used on our suede clutches is sourced from Italy and is used on the seats of Porsche and Maserati automobiles - it is buttery soft, highly durable and resists water damage.
  • Each pure silk used in our scarves and to line our bags is hand-dyed by artisans in south India using all natural plant and vegetable dyes.
  • The dying techniques used to create the design on each silk are labor intensive and centuries old.
  • The design of each scarf is created by the hand stitching, knotting and/or block printing or resisting of each silk at various stages of the dying process.
  • We chose to line the inside of our bags with silk as a statement to beauty beyond the surface.
  • Our recycled leathers are milled in the USA and the chains and charms used in our jewelry are manufactured in the USA.
  • Our Amsterdam suede and recycled leather clutches are manufactured in the New York garment district.
  • Our products are ethically sourced.
  • Each clutch features a suede lined pocket to protect your cell phone and sunglasses.
  • Your purchase has an impact; when you purchase a Lions in Four product you empower women in India.
I am drawn to Lions in Four mission of empowering women and teaching them a skill that can make them independent. There are many wonderful organizations with similar missions, but this is one to check out. Of course, you can own one of their wonderful designs, but you can also make donations for their work.

Some important links to Lions in Four are:

The Lions in Four Foundation

The Lions in Four Company

The Lions in Four Blog 

The Lions in Four Facebook page 

A close view of the Lions in Four necklace:
This is probably the last time I will publish this blog on Blogger platform. I have a new home at I hope you will join me there.

That's all I have for today so...

Adieu until the next time and in the meantime...
Happy Styling!

I usually link up with Patti's Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday HERE Cherie's  Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb's I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine's Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style's Link-Up HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun's Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Nancy's Fashion Style's Fancy Friday , Color and Grace's Fashion Link-Up HERE Rachel's (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and Style Crone's Hat Attack HERE (when I have a hat on!)

Photo credit for this week goes to Michael  for my portraits and myself for the nail photo and still life.

MeadowTree Style

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