Fiona of Fiona Finds is a blogger, entrepreneur, fashionista and interior decorator. She attended a small state art college where she graduated as a literature major before studying interior design at The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She loves to tackle design dilemmas and styling questions that cover the closet, the home, and seemingly everything in between. She has a style she describes as, “eclectic, elegant, and edgy”. “On a good day,” she says, “all three at once!”
An Interview With Fiona of Fiona Finds On Fashion, Design & Life
1. Describe yourself in one sentence.
“Yikes. OK, here goes: I’m a fun-loving, over-thinking, problem-solving introvert who seeks out interesting, beautiful, and unique things, and loves fashion, design, writing, traveling, cooking, finding a great deal, and having a good laugh. One (run-on) sentence!”
2. Who are your style icons?
Fashion icons are Linda Rodin, who proves that spirited style is ageless. Kelly Wearstler because she always looks sophisticated but in a playful way. I would happily take her wardrobe! Tracee Ellis Ross has had some pretty epic fashion moments, and I’ve got to say, Madonna, because, well, she’s Madonna. Honorable mention to Sonam Kapoor, David Bowie, Ines De la Fressange, Jenna Lyons and Kate Moss. Basically, these people march to the beat of their own drum, take fashion risks, and seem effortlessly cool and original, which I love.”
3. What’s your go-to outfit? How has your style changed since becoming a mother? (If at all)
“Hmm, I can’t say that I have a go-to outfit because what I wear on any given day is so dependent on my mood and the weather! In the frigid months in Minneapolis, I typically wear slim black pants paired with a colorful, textured, or interestingly shaped top, and boots, of course. No matter what I wear, it’s always hidden under a heavy coat and scarf!
In warmer months I opt for a midi dress with sandals or sneakers, and I always jazz up my outfits with jewelry and accessories. My style really hasn’t changed since becoming a mom. I’m still me! I like to have fun and experiment with my fashion choices and I’ve always been a non-discriminatory shopper mixing designer pieces with thrift store finds or items from places like Target, Zara and H&M. I want my daughters to see me wearing what makes me feel good so they are confident making their own fashion choices. I love watching their style evolve as they become more independent. Mix those prints, kids!”
4. What are the 4 most-worn pieces in your closet?
“Most of my favorite pieces are things that I’ve had for years that are just easy to wear, tried and true, and feel unique in some way.”
A Black Turtleneck: “I love my black wool turtleneck sweater with the ruffle neckline from J Crew because it’s warm and practical but the detailing makes it unique. It also looks identical to one from Dior!”
A Midi Dress: “My Matta NY midi dress because I love a good cotton dress with a fun print. I can wear it loose or belted, and I like that versatility.”
Black Skinny Jeans: “My faded black skinny jeans. I wear these all the time. They have a nice high-waist and are really comfortable. A great wardrobe staple.”
Black No. 6 Clog Boots: “My black No.6 clog boots. True confessions, I have multiple pairs of their clog boots, but I wear the calf-height shearling ones pretty much every day once the temperature starts dropping in the fall. They are warm, stylish, and comfortable. A winning combo!”
5. Top three beauty products. Go…
“I have to keep it simple, otherwise I’d get overwhelmed by the vast array of products out there. My top three are:
1. Moisturizer because my skin is super dry. I’ve been using Epionce intensive nourishing cream for a few years now, and I definitely feel the difference in my skin. It’s a really luxurious cream with lots of benefits for mature skin.
2. Black mascara. Non-negotiable. I feel naked without it. I’m a sucker for a drugstore mascara, and I really like L’Oreal Voluminous in carbon black.
3. My Beautycounter cream blush, which I also use on my lips. It’s a two for one. The shade is subtle and just a dab on the cheeks and lips really wakes up my face.”
6. What is your dream travel destination (with or without kids)? You have 5 minutes to pack for this trip. What 7 items are you 100% sure to pack?
“There are so many places I am longing to visit. My husband and I have only taken one trip, just the two of us, since our first daughter was born almost 13 years ago! That’s one downside of not living near extended family. But back to the question, I would say Portugal, without the kids (sorry girls!). It’s been at the top of our list for a couple of years now. If I had 5 minutes to pack I would grab:
- My glasses – I’m blind without them
- iPhone – no explanation needed
- A book – I sleep and read on planes. Also, I’m old-fashioned and like to turn paper pages.
- A small box filled with jewelry – Light, compact, and ideal for elevating outfits when you have to be selective about what to pack.
- Comfortable walking shoes – I’m a walker and have no time for blisters.
- A journal – I like to keep a daily journal when I travel. I would forget things if I didn’t take the time to write down memories, itineraries, and experiences. I also like to reflect on my state of mind when I’m away from the routine environment.
- Snacks for the flight. I’m picky about what I eat AND I’m a snacker, so it’s best that I have things available to nosh on when I’m on the go. You don’t want to see me hangry.
Everything else I would buy when I got there because #shoppingisfun :)”
7. Was it a challenge working in the fashion industry after graduating as a literature major? You went to the Fashion Institute of Technology for interior design in your 30s. What was different about going back to college a second time?
“I started working at a designer clothing boutique while I was still in college. That part-time job is what led me to my future jobs in the fashion industry, so I would say no, it was not a difficult transition. I had no specific career plans for my literature degree after school. I just loved reading and writing but wasn’t determined to use my degree for a job right out of school.
I’ve always loved shopping, clothing, and fashion so things just worked out how they were supposed to I guess. I worked in sales then management and visual merchandising. It was all fun, but after a while, I was ready for new and different challenges. I had become really interested in interior design so decided to pursue that.
As far as going back to school in my thirties, I had a much greater appreciation for learning, and I was much more focused, motivated, and determined to succeed. I was also less distracted by the social aspect of college because I was married and my priorities were different. I just wanted to nerd out and do well. The most difficult transition to date has been navigating my mid-life career after being a stay-at-home mom for over ten years. I’m sure many of your readers can relate to that.”
8. You have a number of creative interests. What was your favorite project and why?
“It’s so hard to choose! I love making jewelry, styling, taking photographs, and writing, but I will choose one since you asked! I really enjoy my interior decorating and styling jobs. I find it rewarding to bring spaces together for people and help them feel more excited about their home. It’s fun for me to play with room layout and shop for products that I know will have a big impact on how a room feels.
Many clients don’t have the knowledge or confidence to make design choices on their own, so it’s gratifying to witness people getting excited by the work I do. One of my favorite projects was for a couple who needed to make adjustments for their growing family and wanted to make their home feel fresh and functional with minimal investment. I reworked spaces, repurposed existing furniture, and restyled the rooms with just a few new products. I’m a big believer that you don’t have to spend a lot to make a statement, and I pride myself in making good design accessible.”
9. What advice would you give your 20-something self?
“Start funding your retirement, buy that apartment in Brooklyn, and don’t date losers. But seriously, be focused, but take risks. Don’t be so afraid. It’s OK to fail, you learn more from mistakes than you do from playing it safe. Don’t paralyze yourself with the pursuit of perfection and don’t preoccupy yourself with what other people think. Just be yourself. Truthfully, my 47-year-old self still needs to heed this advice sometimes.”
10. You note that you’re half-Scottish and half-Indian, and mention growing up with immigrant parents in NYC. How do you think that multicultural upbringing influenced who you are?
“I think my upbringing is a huge part of who I am and how I perceive the world around me. This is probably true for most people. I feel very fortunate that I grew up with diversity, not just at home but in New York City, a place where millions of unique people and a multitude of cultures all manage to cohabitate while maintaining their individuality. It’s a pretty special place. I think the multicultural experience has made me a more tolerant and accepting person, and I am thankful for belonging to two distinct cultures.
Overall, I feel tremendous gratitude for my experiences, huge appreciation for my upbringing, and wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I loved growing up in NYC and still consider it home. My parents were both incredibly hard-working and by all accounts successful people. They never felt compelled to change who they were or alter their beliefs, morals, values or traditions. That made an impression on me, and the older I got the more I appreciated their integrity.”
11. What 4 pieces are you coveting right now?
These Pink Platform Lace-Up Shoes: “I just love them. They feel simultaneously retro and modern. And the color!”
Tigerpop Amsterdam Droplet Rings: “She handcrafts them for each client. They have the most beautiful and sophisticated sculptural feel. Like art for your fingers. I want to get a set of three but can’t decide between the gold and silver.”
This Dress by Kika Vargas: “It’s just so fun and unique. I would wear it with slides, tall boots, or even those pink platform shoes!”
This Lulu M Jerome Dreyfuss Bag: “I’ve been wanting a Jerome Dreyfuss bag for a while now but I’ve never been able to settle on one style or color because I love them all so much. This purple python one is pretty special though.”
12. What values or qualities are you hoping to instill in your children?
“Honesty, acceptance, spirituality, self-advocacy, a sense of humor, perseverance, integrity and confidence. When they’re a bit older I’ll start sharing the advice I would give my 20-something self!”
Follow Fiona on Instagram at @fionafinds and read more of her posts over on her blog Fiona Finds! We will be looking to feature more readers, influencers, and problem solvers, so keep an eye out on the Facebook Insiders’ Group and the Newsletter for updates.
Thank you, Fiona, for doing this style interview with us!
Annnnd for the pinners: