Meet Andrea Bell-Chaniot, former advertising executive and mother of two. After living in France for 10 years with her husband and first child, the family relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. This fashion lover and mom shares her journey to staying mindful, active and effortlessly chic.
Q: Where do you live and what do you do?
A: Currently, I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Five years ago, I relocated after living in France for 10 years. My husband is Parisian and my oldest son was born in France. For 16 years, I served as a former advertising executive for HP across the US and Europe. I'm now taking care of my 4 and 8 year old children full-time, while dabbling in fashion.
Q: How has Material World impacted your shopping habits and reinvented your style?
A: Material World has enabled me to keep up with the latest trends by incentivizing me to clean out my closet to make room for my next fabulous and unique looks. I love unique pieces and experimenting with different brands. Material World has given me an outlet to have fun with fashion.
Q: You are no doubt a busy woman. What do you do to relax, find balance, and detach?
A: While juggling the schedules of two young boys and a husband who is constantly traveling internationally, I stay grounded and mindful by practicing yoga and Pilates every day, eating a clean diet, and spending time with a small group of friends who keep me intellectually stimulated. Shopping also helps me stay grounded and positive. It's an adrenaline rush when I find great pieces to add to my wardrobe! For me, shopping is also a social experience. I very often become friends with the salespeople in boutiques. I enjoy chatting about the latest trends, family, what's going on in the world etc. Furthermore, since I've lived in so many different places in and outside of the US, I have a unique approach to style and enjoy chatting about it.
Q: What is one thing you strongly stand for?
A: In one word, I stand for Individualism. I pride myself in being an individualist in every aspect of my life -personally and professionally. My clothing choices and style very much define who I am and the kind of energy I radiate. My personal style says “I'm a strong woman, great mother and wife, world traveler, health and fitness addict and most of all a fun loving person!”
Q: What are 3 things you can’t live without?
A: Family, exercise, and shopping!
Q: What’s your trade-mark fashion piece?
A: My Louis Vuitton Denim Sunshine cross body bag (SS 2010). I found this bag in the Palo Alto, California LV store years ago. I have never seen anyone else with the same bag. It has a thick, bright orange strap and is made of faded monogram denim. When I wear it, I always receive high praise and lots of attention.
Q: How has your clothing style evolved over the years?
A: I'm now open to wearing more colors, patterns and fabrics. I also mix patterns, which I would have never dared to do a few years ago! I like to keep up with the trends but also like to mix in my personal style.
Q: Out of the clothes you traded in, does one piece come with a story?
A: I traded in a Louis Vuitton red and beige layered laced dress. I wore this dress for a wedding reception in New York City. Although the dress was gorgeous, my husband thought it didn't flatter my figure in the way other pieces in my wardrobe do. However, my style does not depend on what others think! Realistically I, of course, dress for myself, but I also take into consideration the opinions of others, especially my husband.
Q: Have you always had an affinity for fashion?
A: I’ve always admired fashion and read a lot about the industry. However, having lived in France for 10 years, I learned to truly appreciate effortlessly chic French fashion. In France, gone were the days of wearing activewear all day long, after a morning workout. You'll never see a French person wear a baseball cap and sneakers to shop, to dine, to spa or to do anything else other than exercise.
Q: What do you spend most of your time on and how does this affect your wardrobe?
A: I spend most of my time working out, taking care of my children and myself. Much of my wardrobe includes activewear, but I love to mix it up. I shop for activewear just as much as I shop for daywear or evening wear. I like comfortable fabrics with unique colors and styles in order to differentiate myself from others.
Q: How can we improve our services?
A: It would be fabulous if you offered styling service! This would give customers the opportunity to consult with a fashion expert on their wardrobe choices.
Q: Where can others find you?