I met Adair Arnold in my AP studio art class at Westminster. Adair was one of the only juniors in the class. She was quiet, confident, extremely talented, and so nice. All her pieces were joyful, alive and full of beautiful color - just like her. I was so impressed with the way Adair carried herself. She played volleyball, loved her boyfriend Crawford, and quietly excelled at everything she did.
Two years later I was at college in Boston, and my roommate and I walked into the gas station across the street from our dorm. At the register I saw Adair's face staring up at me from the cover of Cosmopolitan. She won a country wide model search that landed her on the cover. I wouldn't say I was shocked. My first thoughts were just that it could not have happened to a more deserving person.
Since then Adair has had an illustrious modeling career that's crisscrossed her across the country. She also married the love of her life, Crawford, and the Carneros Inn in Napa, CA.
Last year my family and I went to Lake Tahoe the same week as Burning Man. We watched the attendees pour into the airport and drive past us on the highway in massive school busses and traveling art instillations. We were obviously intrigued, and I enjoyed following Adair's adventures on Facebook that week because SHE AND HER SISTERS WERE THERE!
Most recently Adair has been working on her passion project, Circle + Hide.
Adair designed interchangeable watch faces and bands that suit your daily whims. Anyone who knows me is aware of my deep love for the color orange, and this face is on the top of my must have list for Spring.
The watches are available THIS FRIDAY and SATURDAY at Morgan Kylee.
And now for a little q & a with the woman behind Circle + Hide.
Name: Adair Arnold
Job: Model / Watch Designer
Describe your typical day:
Wake up, check emails, play with my 7 month old english chocolate lab Banks, eat breakfast, make calls, check orders, do a little customer service, check production processes, check my never-ending to do list, play with Banks, work out, eat lunch, do work, more work, take Banks to the park for puppy happy hour, maybe meet a friend for a drink in the neighborhood, cook with Crawf or order in, watch whatever Crawford is watching, eat something sweet, and hit the hay. So exciting right now. Otherwise its get to a shoot, turn into a glamazon, and change clothes all day :)
Do you ever get starstruck? If so, when was the last time it happened?
Oooooh not really - I hardly even recognize famous people when I see them, I usually just think the familiar face must be an old friend. Though if I saw Daniel whats-his-name 007 and he was like 6'5" I might get flustered.
What is your favorite thing about your husband?
Tough call. Is it his lovin', his charm, his strength of character, his mean veggie scramble or his handsome mug? He has a never-give-up attitude, a great sense of humor, and lives in the moment. He just makes me smile!
You guys have been together so long, what's your secret for making it work day in and day out?
Doing fun things together is pretty clutch, making time to be sweet to each other even when times are tough or work stinks or money is tight, it only takes a few minutes of quality time to make each other feel like a million bucks. Communication is key - to stay on top of the good AND the bad... instead of always focusing on whats bothering you, telling your partner when you appreciate them, throwing out some well-deserved compliments, and
How do you relax?
In my dreams its a giant bathtub with bubbles and candles and a good book...but in reality its a walk in the park with Banks or a nap on the couch in the middle of the day with Crawf. Music, glass of wine, plate of cheese = medicine. I actually really enjoy cooking to take my mind off of anything weighing on it, and if I can find a good yoga class that works wonders...but it has to be good! If I am really stressing I will look up flights to a tropical location and imagine opening up a shake shack on the beach.
What would your last meal be?
What WOULDN'T be on my plate? I would go to Post Ranch Inn and eat every single tasting menu at Sierra Mar. And I would spend my last night there, too. Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat.
Tell me about burning man and what it was like to share that with your sisters?
OMG Burning Man was (aside from, you know, finding the love of my life) was hands down the most wondrous thing I have ever been a part of. Everything I think I knew about people and life and the world was challenged in a good way - it kind of renewed my faith in humanity.There is something there for everyone and every personality - you can get into as much or as little trouble as you like, but unlike festivals, there aren't people visibly stumbling around out of their right minds (people are consciously perhaps out of their right minds :) and there is hardly a speck of trash littering the entire 9 square miles of open roads and esplanades that make up Black Rock City. At first it seems like a wild or weird costumed gathering in the desert and then it reveals itself to be this balancing, liberating, inspiring, humbling, character-strengthening eye-opening transformation of your soul. Everyone is there to participate as part of the experience/show, which might just mean finally being themselves, and every thing - every single solitary structure, art car, installation, light, performance, project, camp, and scrap of food was brought in and built by individuals on their own dime to make Burning Man the most indescribable exhibition of humor, arts, music, engineering, generosity, emotion, talent, thought and imagination that you've ever seen. By the end a single day seemed to involve much more in terms of time spent actually living - being free from judgement and hesitation (there is no such thing as weird or normal), the need for money, material achievement, or any reminder of the "regular" world, here everyone lives in a tent or something like it, covered in dust, and the greatest rewards are in gifting and making personal connections... even if just by sharing a small gift of a wings to a middle-aged woman who is finding her inner youth, making the effort to blend via tandem bike riding a pitcher full of ice-cold-pina-colada for some lucky Burners or a jumping through a closing drawbridge door into an art car named Space Wench that is thumping toward a burning temple... that will never again be possible. It fuels you with confidence and zest for life, knowing that every moment is an opportunity to enjoy life. I think going with my sisters was really special - my middle sister was 6 month pregnant, so she got some extra special blessings and attention on the playa; it was very emotional. We stayed with a healing camp that brought in water to share from Mt. Shasta, did Reiki on anyone who stopped in and practiced Native American ceremonies in the mornings and evening, so it was a wholesome home base. We went to sleep for a couple of hours a night on a big yellow school bus - it was trippy and different and I just think Burning Man is one of the most important things I have ever done.
What was the inspiration behind Circle + Hide?
I am surrounded by start-ups in the Bay Area, and living here only adds fuel to the fire when motivating me to fulfill a lifelong desire to create something. I have always dabbled in painting and designing, but the idea for Circle + hide came about organically. I was inspired to start a line of elegant watches and cool straps after searching fruitlessly for a watch that was special, and came to find out that a lot of my peers didn't wear a watch only because they couldn't find one that suited them... there was no way to make it their own. With Circle + Hide, I really wanted to give you the chance to make something as personal as a classic timepiece customizable based on your taste and lifestyle.
How has your proximity to the world of fashion influenced your line, and who were some of your biggest mentors?
When I was working in New York with IMG I got to work with some industry greats - and even just a short job or experience with one of them could leave a lasting impression. Seeing Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Helmet Lang, DVF and Francisco Costa in action was really exciting, and working editorials with crazy creative stylists like Kate Young and Tabitha Simmons in cahoots with makeup artists like Tom Picheu and Gucci Westman in front of the lenses of David Simms and Gilles Bensimmon and Donna Troop - you really got to see the magic along with the nitty gritty. In the recent past, though, my biggest mentors are Tim Gunn and Anne Barge, both nurturing, encouraging personalities that not only allowed me to be a part of their processes but valued my feedback and opinion. I think my proximity to the fashion world has me hoping to create a line that balances classic with unique. Even if we have a brown strap, I want it to stand out from mass produced generic brown watch straps that are devoid of personality. Our watches are an alternative to I think the best personal style can be attributed to character, so I want our watch straps to be full of it.
I saw on your kickstarter campaign that you sold naming rights, What are some of your favorites?
Most of the names were pretty exciting - "mike" "lara" and "the wolf" :)
How long did it take from the time you had the idea to the time you had the watches in your hand? How did it feel to open the box and take out a watch for the first time?
It took two years from conception to opening the first box of samples. August 2012 to August 2014...And after some initial excitement in 2012 we just didn't have the means to make it possible. But after a few months of working like crazy, the idea just hadn't gone away, and in June 2013 I started reaching out to manufacturers. Despite my initial fear that something would be wrong with what I would find in the box, I was relieved that the Swiss completely outdid themselves and over-delivered on every aspect. Holding the Circle + Hide samples in my hand for the first time made the idea seem real, no longer just an idea, but an actual product that would one day exist on people all over! Talk about exciting. I couldn't have been happier than if you told me I could eat birthday cake for breakfast every day til the end of time.
What's your favorite watch + band combo?
Right now I am rocking the Gold and white with the Navy band, but my favorite watch is the gold with a green face and a dark band followed by the stainless steel and bronze with the metal band. But asking for my favorite is like picking between children...I hate to leave anyone out! We are really hoping that customers will submit ideas for straps to us so we can give you what you want!
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