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Learn How To Get The Best NYC Shots With Dani Diamond

Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Dani Smiling

New York City is a paradise for photographers, but getting the best NYC shots is not always easy! Dani Diamond, a professional photographer gives us a few tips to make it right!

At 27 years old, Dani Diamond, born in Ohio, but currently based in Connecticut, is more of the introvert type, so photography focused on Weddings & Events was definitely not up his alley, since he’d need to worry about countless details and bigger groups of people interacting with him.

He started working in Fashion / Commercial photography, at the age of 23, because he always wanted to be able to take amazing photos and, as we know, models do know their way in front of a camera (with a bit of orientation from the photographer, of course). So Dani, being a confessed introvert, found his way in.

His photography style is based on natural lighting and it’s surely what makes him stand out in relation to other photographers today. His technique also helped him built strong social media presence which, only on Instagram, is over 114k.

How he started? “I started on my own, figured out how things worked looking at Youtube videos. I studied in Business School and even though I didn’t follow that path, I can definitely apply what I learned to my own business.

As he says: “I wasn’t born talented, I was born ambitious.” Awesome, right?

He now has clients not only in the US like New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Texas, but also over seas in England and other countries around the Globe.

For this Insider Interviews, we decided to shift a bit the focus. So, this time instead of “Top 7 Secret Tips in NY”, Dani will give us his “Top 7 tips for Photographers that want to shoot in NYC”.

Read and learn, Guys!


#1 – I love shooting in NYC mainly because I can work outdoors at anytime of the day and get that soft golden hour light.

The tall skyscrapers of Manhattan block the direct harsh sunlight from hitting the streets, so this really softens the light as its bounces off the buildings.

This does come with a price to pay though. Contrary to popular believe, shooting during Sunset hours in NY is not good because of this. The same way harsh sunlight is softened before it reaches the street during daylight hours, it also eliminates the much weaker sunset light.

Without much light at the golden hour it makes taking photographs very difficult. In the end, I’d take 10 hours of soft light over 1 hour of sunset light on any day.

#2 – Stay away from touristy areas, like Midtown, of course.

I prefer mainly places in quieter areas. Areas like the Financial District on a Sunday where you’ll find absolutely no tourists nor business man walking around. You’ll have 10 blocks of beautiful emptiness.

In Brooklyn, Dumbo is favorite area. Even though you can find lots of people walking around, there are several streets that people just don’t pass by and that have a very unique cobble street look. You can also find great alleys, gorgeous store fronts, plus you have a breathtaking background with the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. You can find the Brooklyn Bridge Park with a great view of Manhattan’s skyline, all within a 5 minute walk, versus Manhattan, that doesn’t have all that in a small radius.

#3 The West Side Highway is great to shoot.

The best time is to shoot during the first half of the day, before the sun reaches that area. The first half of the day, the sun is on the FDR side (East).

Plus, you also have nice docks with boats in the back, giving it a cool background.

#4 If it’s a rainy day, go to Soho. You’ll find tons of bars.

You can shoot in the empty bars before 4-5pm, since people start showing up only after work for the endless Happy Hours.

They all have different looks and personalities. Just feel free to walk in and politely ask to take pictures, not more than 5-6, though. SoHo has only a “10 block radius” and each bar speaks in a different way.

#5 Go to the famous Highline!

Try shooting early in the morning, before people come around. It does get quite crazy during the day. This area will give you a unique nature type of vibe and lots of green.

#6 Hit-up bridges in NY to shoot.

Shoot at Sunset because you’re out in the open. The Brooklyn Bridge is #1, for sure, but it has the most number people too.

The Williamsburg Bridge is great, but keep in mind it is very ‘red’, so remember this detail when styling the wardrobe. My favorite bridge is the 59th Street Bridge that crosses Roosevelt Island – there are no tourists and only a few people biking to work or from work.

#7 The best place to buy your equipment is B&H.

They have any piece of gear you’ll probably need. And, the best is they are not forcing any things down your throat since they don’t get paid commission to sell.

The store has robots hanging from the ceiling that take care of your shopping cart. Therefore, you don’t need to carry anything around while shopping!

www.bhphotovideo.com


Here are a few other tips:

What is a hidden spot in NYC with a stunning view of the City?
As I said, Dumbo is great, and I also really like Hoboken, in Hudson County, New Jersey.

What piece of advise would you give someone that just moved to NYC?
Do not stay in the City. Get a place in Brooklyn or New Jersey, this way you’ll actually see the City’s beautiful skyline. It’s also cheeper and you’ll experience more things around it. If you stay in the City, you will likely stay o-n-l-y in the City. Plus, the ferries are cheep and pretty fun!

        

Oh! Dani told us that he uses a Nikon D800 and buys semi new cameras. His tip for buying a used camera is to check the shutter count to see how old it is. If it’s under 20k, it’s ok! Cameras are rated up to 200k.

Click on the images above to see further details of the camera and the lens! It will surely help you get the best NYC shots.

http://danidiamond.com


His YouTube page has great stuff and tells a bit more about his career and photography tips! Enjoy!

Take a look as some of his beautiful work:

Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Shooting
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And, a few portraits:

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Photo Credits: Courtesy of Dani Diamond
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Just Bulbs: Lighten Up Your Life The Coolest Light Bulbs in NY

Shop Home and Kids Just Bulbs Plant Decor

How can we transform something simple and boring, like purchasing new light bulbs in NY, into something fun!? Just Bulbs are real experts at this!

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Yes, going out to purchase new light bulbs in NY can be a hassle and quite a boring chore. But, Just Bulbs is an expert at making this fun!

They transformed the act of purchasing light bulbs into something much more enjoyable and entertaining!

To start, the store was founded by David Brooks in 1980 and stands proud and strong until today, being named the “#1 Light Bulb Store in NYC”. This is definitely an impressive title based on the strong competition they have today with those huge chain stores pulverizing the market and killing the small business owners.

Furthermore, their experts have over 25 years of experience and are able to help you at any time. You actually don’t even need to go to the store! They’re good to the extent that they’ll be able to help you over phone or even if you send them a photo by email or fax. Yup, they still have a fax machine. So…vintage!

We’re pretty sure that regardless of what you’re looking for, you’ll surely find it there. From the Carbon Thomas Edison and Energy Efficient Light Bulbs and Color Corrected bulbs to Miniature and Subminiature, Photo and Stage Studio and Projection Lamps. Wow, they have it all!

Plus, all their models have a LED version, helping the planet by being more environment-friendly! We love this!


They stock:

  • Carbon Thomas Edison and Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
  • Color Corrected
  • Full Spectrum
  • Large Lamp
  • Miniature and Subminiature
  • Neodymium
  • Photo and Stage Studio
  • Projection Lamps

They have American, European and British socket bulbs:

  • 6
  • 12
  • 24
  • 120
  • 220 Volt
  • Holiday and Christmas Strings

Their experts can suggest improvements over your current light bulbs that will improve color, or increase life. And still, it might also save electricity or improve the design of the fixture.

They can enhance your party or holiday with color and with strings of lights that are either traditional or novelty. For indoor or outdoor use, they have lights in the shapes of various:

  • Baseballs
  • Basketballs
  • Flowers
  • Golf balls
  • Cows, pigs and birds
  • Lights in the shapes of Peppermints and M&Ms
  • Sea shells, light houses and others

In addition, they can adapt your foreign light sockets to fit American light bulbs. Finally, they can refresh you lights by changing the bulbs and cleaning your fixtures.

WOWWWW!!!! This definitely won’t be a common, boring chore anymore. After going there once, we’re sure you’ll become a loyal customer and in love with light bulbs! Well, everyone does!

Yup, buying new light bulbs in New York can be pretty fun!

Now, since you’re super close, go explore a small street where Sutton Place Park North is located. It’s part of our YouTube video with the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC.

Location: 222 East 58th Street

www.justbulbs.net


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Just Bulbs
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Windham Mountain Ski Resort: Skiing Getaways Upstate New York

Day Trips and Travel Windham Mountain Odyssée Montagne - Only Illlustration

Windham Mountain Ski Resort is located just a bit over 2.5 hours from New York City. Be prepared to witness some of the most amazing sceneries at one of the best skiing getaways upstate New York.

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The Windham Mountain Ski Resort has more than “50 ski trails, 12 lifts, an Inn, three restaurants, a golf course, spa, an adventure park and a lift -served mountain bike park”. Amazing right?

They offer a BootLab where you can buy and customize your boots with the renowned bootfitter, Mark Stewart.

Not everyone enjoys spending an entire day going up and down the mountains, so Windham Country Club offers a Mountain Yoga studio with several Yoga variations. You can try their Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga, Sunrise Flow, TGIF Yoga, Yoga Fundamentals and the Restorative Yoga.

The resort has a few dining options. You can try Rock’n Mexicana and Mulligan’s Pub. But, you can also choose from one of their many on-mountain dining spots!

So, for a lunch break or to finish the day, you can choose from burgers, to waffles, barbecue, and even sushi! They offer a great variety for all tastes.

Plus, they have great options for coffees, pastries, soups and sandwiches too!

If you’re not the skier-type, the resort is also a really great option to go during the hotter months.

They have countless outdoor activities from radical sports to golfing.

People have no idea how beautiful and green the state of New York is, so have fun exploring this fantastic place just a few hours from Manhattan. It’s definitely one of the best skiing getaways upstate New York.

If you need assistance to book this trip, let our experts give you a hand. For corporate groups and activities, learn what services we offer.

Location: 33 Clarence D Lane Road, Windham

www.windhammountain.com


Shop the Look:

Noize


Photo Credit: Courtesy of OdysséeMontagne (only an illustrative image) and courtesy of Windham Mountain Resort
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Arrivals Gates At Flying Solo: A Shopping Experience In SoHo

Events Up Coming Arrival Gates Unexpected Cashmere Flying Solo Feathers

One of our very good friends referred this event. Arrivals Gates Unexpected Cashmere at Flying Solo will surely be a different shopping experience to go in New York City this weekend! Enjoy this unique shopping experience in SoHo!

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“Arrivals Gate – Unexpected Cashmere is Adriana Lerner Adelson’s mission to use her creativity while opening borders bringing traditional handmade shawls into modern life. Adriana envisions, curates and distributes high-quality native handicrafts from Kathmandu, Nepal and other communities in developing countries.

She expanded on her experience in the global business world to engage with communities while creating art.

Her creations explore the individuals’ desire to be unique. As a result, what could seem to be only an “accessory”, reveals itself to be what we are in the choices we make as individuals.

All pieces achieve unexpected visual similarities, although exploring their amazing different textures. Adriana’s creations express, inspire, surprise and connect … the cashmere way.

During her talk, the artist will explain her inspiration process to create the Unexpected Cashmere series, the social project through Arrivals Gate that supports the cashmere factory in Kathmandu, the shawls creation and what is Cashmere, where it comes from, care and usage questions.”

So, RSVP for this shopping experience in SoHo.

If you are coming to NYC or you live here and you’re looking of one of the best personal stylists & shoppers in town, today is your lucky day!

Contact our concierge experts and let them tell you more about our professionals! They will cater to your needs and budget, prepping everything for you before you arrive at the store. Plus, if you need a wardrobe cleanse or personal styling, we have it all! Just beware, this service might be addictive!

Date: January 21st
Time: 4pm – 7pm
Location: Flying Solo – 224 Mulberry Street

www.arrivalsgate.com


Photo Credit and Text Excerpts: Courtesy of Arrivals Gates / Unexpected Cashmere
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Indie Beauty Expo: 6 NY based Vegan, Organic, Natural Beauty Brands

Fitness Health Indie Beauty Expo 2016 Violets are Blue Ingredients

We’ve been observing a trend around the world: people are changing their values about lifestyle. Behind the Scenes NYC attended the Indie Beauty Expo that took place in New York and found some amazing NY based Vegan, Organic, Natural beauty brands.

Indie Beauty Expo New York City 2016

During the last couple of years, the number of organic products have grown exponentially and more people started to practice physical activities as part of their daily routine. Today, we will tell you what we found at the Indie Beauty Expo in NYC.

There is a clear concern about the origin of every beauty product that we use. Even Netflix has launched a Series called Broken that shows the terrible things that happen in this industry.

People are now choosing to live in the most natural way possible. It’s not a surprise that this new lifestyle also includes the concern with cosmetic products we purchase.

Hence, we see so many new brands in the market, with different proposes, offering vegan and organic formulas.

We attended the Indie Beauty Expo, that took place in New York a while ago.

“IBE’S mission is to provide a platform to recognize, showcase and celebrate independent beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands. Indie brands are among the fastest growing product categories.”

They have become a ‘must have’ in almost every retailer’s collection and are now directly influencing key trends in their markets. We can see this in New York, with several stores specialized in brands that offer natural cosmetics.

Here are some brands that called our Contributor’s, Laura Peruchi, attention at the Indie Beauty Expo 2016:


Escaping NYC: Exploring Narrowsburg In Upstate NY With Juliette Hermant

Insider Interviews Juliette Hermant Narrowsburg By Julie Holder Powell

Upstate NY is gorgeous. Juliette Hermant, Founder of Maison Bergogne, gave us a full itinerary so you can visit and enjoy a long weekend in Narrowsburg!

Insider Interviews Juliette Hermant Narrowsburg By Julie Holder Powell
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Julie Holder Powell

Upstate NY is so beautiful and most visitors and even New Yorkers don’t know about the amazing people and places they can find.

Our Founder, Fernanda Paronetto, fell in love with Maison Bergogne, an antique, décor and design services shop in Narrowsburg, upstate New York. So, she decided to interview Juliette Hermant, the owner.

To start, Juliette Hermant is a painter, photographer and interior designer, who moved to the U.S. from Paris in 2007. She lived in Los Angeles working as an artist. Then, moved to the East Coast in search of a stronger sense of community.

Juliette didn’t really find it in Williamsburg (where she lived). Her strong, buzzing energy left her yearning for a different life. She wanted a place she could do meaningful work that was needed while feeling grounded in nature.

So, in 2012, she ended up in Narrowsburg, a historic Catskills hamlet perfectly situated along the Delaware River, just across the bridge from Pennsylvania.

There is a long history of artists in the town. So, it seemed full of potential to her.

Juliette acquired a beautiful brick 1920’s industrial building that had been boarded up and breathed new life into it, opening Maison Bergogne. She filled this emporium with antiques and vintage pieces, 90% of which are local to the Catskills, and offered her interior design services to local homeowners and businesses in partnership with Anie Stanley of Woolheater Wares.

She also set about engaging with the community to work on revitalizing the area. Moreover, this included developing a community garden and tending beehives on her rooftop. Over the years, she has become very invested in enhancing the town through initiatives with the Narrowsburg Beautification Group and Main Street Merchants.

www.maisonbergogne.com

Curiosities Insider Interviews Juliette Hermant Narrowsburg Fish and Bicycle Restaurant Appetizers
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Juliette’s interest in permaculture has crystallized through her latest venture Fish & Bicycle. Foodies and makers collaborate with her desire to serve the Catskill’s bountiful flavors through local feasts, while also passing on skills and knowledge.  

Sharing flavors create bonds between people, which works to foster a sense of stable, collaborative community. Join them for a leap in the Catskills through their one-of-a-kind events & workshops and get a bite of their terroir cuisine with Fish & Bicycle’s catering services.
Fish & Bicycle Apiaries now offers the opportunity to join a honey-share, where your contribution supports permaculture ethics and edible pollinator’s friendly-gardens around her small town, as well as Juliette’s nearby Monarch butterfly nursery.
Launch date is still to be announced, so stay tuned!

www.fishandbicycleny.com

Below are Juliette’s top tips in Narrowsburg and surroundings. It’ll be of great help to plan your Day-Trip or Weekend-Trip:


Part of Narrowsburg’s charm is its ideal location, perched above the picturesque “Big Eddy” of the Delaware River. Wild flora and fauna abound, including white-tailed deer, bald eagles and black bear. Lately, there has been an influx of New York City transplants and visitors to the area. In addition, new businesses are springing up.

The most beautiful approach to the town is along Route 97, a scenic byway that runs along the river. And, the nearest bus and train stations are more than half an hour away – in Monticello and Port Jervis, respectively. So, coming up by car is a good idea. (You can rent your car through our Concierge Services).


One Grand Books

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“In addition to his day job as Editor of Out Magazine, Aaron Hicklin runs a bookshop named One Grand Books, on Main Street.

He asked his glamorous circle of friends and acquaintances (including Tilda Swinton, Jay McInerney and Marianne Faithful) to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island and has stocked the shop accordingly. Plus, occasionally, local authors have readings there.”

Location: 60 Main Street, Narrowsburg

http://onegrandbooks.com


Le Petite Cabine

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If you need time away from the city and want to be immersed in nature, this is surely what you’re looking for.

“Just a 5-minutes drive from town, this rustic 1950 timber-frame cabin delivers quiet seclusion in nature. Le Petite Cabine boasts private frontage on the bucolic Ten Mile River.

A clawfoot bathtub and an outdoor shower and a fireplace made of blue stone. In addition, plenty of old-fashioned in-the-mountains charm, thanks in large part to the artful styling of Maison Bergogne and Woolheater Ware’s collaboration.

You can also inquire about rental, time-share options and the nearby queer-friendly artists’ retreat with Smokey Belles.

Location: Nearby Narrowsburg hamlet & Delaware River


Stickett Inn

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“With their special brand of tongue-in-cheek humor, set designer Roswell Hamrick and his partner, fashion maven Johnny Pizzolatto, bring loads of style and character to this delightful Stickett Inn.

Plus, it’s located just 20 minutes South, in Barryville. From the little shack in front that functions as kind of lobby—think Intelligenstia coffee, Malin & Goetz candles and locally made treats — to the themed rooms, outdoor hot tub and fire pits, it offers fun and relaxation in equal measure.”

Prices range from $150-$245.

Location: 3380 Route 97, Barryville

http://stickettinn.com


Mildred’s Lane

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“Co-founded by J. Morgan Puett, this artist’s enclave is situated on 96 rustic acres deep in the woods of rural Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s just over the bridge from Narrowsburg.

In addition, the summer program at Mildred’s Lane includes Friday evening events in their gallery space on Main Street, in Narrowsburg. Plus, dinners onsite every Saturday following presentations by visiting artists. The artist-constructed bonfires are a highlight!”

Location: 517 Plank Road, Beach Lake, PA

www.mildredslane.com


Narrowsburg Farmers Market

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“Just coming off its first season, this community market is held on Friday evenings, perfect for weekenders who want to stock up on locally grown produce and indulge in fresh fare, including beer, cider and spirits.

Narrowsburg Farmers Market is located at the Union, a new multi-use complex converted from the town’s former school. Plus, you will meet farmers, growers and “makers”. Charles Wilkin from 2Queens has been my beekeeping mentor and his knotweed honey is especially delicious!”

Location: 7 Erie Avenue, Narrowsburg

www.narrowsburgfarmersmarket.org


Tusten Heritage Community Garden

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“Inquire at Maison Bergogne for a tour of this lovely garden dedicated to permaculture, heirloom plants and pollinator species, called Tusten Heritage Community Garden.

Inside are 22 raised beds designed by founder and artist Andrea Reynosa, who referenced the I Ching and used the elemental symbols as a template. So, if you’re lucky, you may get to taste some of the wonderful vegetables and herbs. And, it’s all grown by local residents and business owners.”

Location: Behind the Narrowsburg Public Library. From Bridge Street you turn down Demauro Lane by the Town Hall.

www.facebook.com/TustenHCG


Ba and Me

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“This mini chain of eateries, Ba and Me, is a great example of the new fast-casual: delicious, healthy and totally addictive. Owner Nhi Mundy saw a real need for ethnic food in the area and opened up two Vietnamese cafes.

The first, in Callicoon (about 15 minutes north of Narrowsburg), is a glorified takeout window. The second, for which Maison Bergogne and Woolheater Wares collaborated on the décor, is over the bridge in Honesdale, PA. And, they also offer indoor seating. Don’t miss the summer rolls!”

Location: 1023 Main Street, Honesdale, PA

http://baandme.com


Dyberry Weaver

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“Charles Hadley Blanchard, known as the Dyberry Weaver (Dyberry is a tiny hamlet in Pennsylvania), is an artisan who makes magical things out of linen, wool, silk and local alpaca.

In his Main Street studio, Dyberry Weaver, you will discover sumptuous rugs, handbags and ponchos displaying great subtlety and craftsmanship. In short, his work is truly original and found only in Narrowsburg.”

Location: 101 Main Street, Narrowsburg

www.dyberryweaver.com


Thank you, Juliette, for these fantastic tips in Narrowsburg and surroundings. Plus, keep up the fantastic work at Maison Bergogne!

And, if you need help to plan your trip, or assistance to put together a company outing or annual retreat, contact our experts!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Gentl & Hyers, Julie Holder Powell, Juliette Hermant, Heidisbridge, Michael Mundy, Bette Blau & Steven Randazzo, Arden Wray, Laura Silverman and the venues.
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Josephinas Portugal: Proud To Be A Woman

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A shoe brand that believes that you don’t need high heels to feel amazing. Josefinas Portugal was founded in 2013 by Filipa Júlio and is a woman’s dream for women!

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We are all about women empowerment and the feel of “Proud to be a Woman”, after all, Behind the Scenes NYC was founded by the Brazilian entrepreneur and dreamer, Fê Paronetto. She wanted to show people what New York City is really about, away from the touristy scene.

Our Contributor, Laura Peruchi, interviewed Sofia Oliveira, from Josefinas Portugal!


Josefinas is a luxury shoes company from Portugal that started online in Europe. They’ve just opened last month their first flagship store in New York City.

The flats and the sneakers are handmade, which certainly makes the shoes undoubtedly special and unique. Plus, Josefinas’ story and trajectory is surely inspirational.

The quote ‘Never give up’ has always defined the brand’s path.

Filipa Júlio, the Founder, named the brand after her grandmother. She made Filipa’s life a special adventure, especially when she took her to ballet class as a kid.

We talked with Sofia Oliveira, one of the Co-Founders that joined Filipa in her journey. She graduated in Communications & Press Relations, but she always loved Fashion and Josefinas was a natural step in her career.

Along with Filipa and Maria Cunha, she’s part of the team that founded Josefinas.

She explains: “Josefinas was founded in 2013 from a woman’s dream – Filipa – and other women that joined her. Our shoes were created to inspire women to achieve their dreams. It’s a woman’s dream for women”.


How is the manufacturing process of Josefinas’ shoes?

We are obsessed with savoir-faire – a French expression that means “expertise”. That’s why each Josefinas’ pair of shoes is so special. They are all individually handmade by expert craftsmen based in Portugal.

Can you explain a little bit about Josefinas’ values and philosophy?

Josefinas has three main values.

First, is the savoir-faire. We work with the best Portuguese craftsmen to create Josefinas’ magic. The hands of these artists have years of history in the art of making shoes. They have passion and pride in creating. Naturally, they create pieces of art.

Our second value is women empowerment. We believe in women power. Our mission is inspiring women to believe in their dreams until they come true. Where can your Josefinas can take you? Wherever you want them to!

Last but not least, we have the Customer’s “WOW”. We believe that our Customers are the best in the world, that’s why we believe in always exceeding their expectations. We have a person focused on this: our Chief Officer of Customer Delight.

What about the Josefinas’ styles? What’s your favorite? 

Honestly, it’s impossible to have just one favorite. All styles are beautiful! Currently, I am obsessed with Josefinas’ Louise Green Tree, Cleopatra Classic Black and the Red Lisbon.

Josefinas believes in women empowerment and that it’s not necessary to wear high heels to be amazing, right? 

It’s important – and we believe – that women should feel good with themselves. They have to believe, feel and use their power. There is nothing stronger than women empowerment! We are a live example of