Meet the Stela 9 Model: Corina from Wild & Free Jewelry

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Corina from Wild & Free Jewelry. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting her firsthand, you know she is one of the sweetest souls around. Not to mention, super talented and business savvy. If you haven’t met her, you can gather up as much from following her journey on instagram. Beautiful photos, her amazing jewelry, the genuineness behind it all, the humility just translates.

It probably comes to no surprise that we were all stoked that she decided to model our Holiday & Resort campaigns this year. She came out to Guatemala to experience all the gloriousness that it comprises, and to help tell the story of what Blame It On My Wild Heart and Into The Jungle are all about. Naturally, she did it flawlessly. And I don’t mean the brilliant shots that came from it, I mean the whole experience in general. She was an absolutely gem to work with. And that’s really something you can’t say everyday.

To continue in our Stela 9 tradition, we asked Corina to fill out this short questionnaire so she can tell you more herself. Enjoy.

Full name and location: Corina Alulquoy Brown – Santa Barbara, CA

What do you do, and why is it cool? Lovin’ this question! I’m the owner and designer of Wild & Free Jewelry. I also work part time at a local Free People where I get my fashion and styling fix. In my free time I’m always at the beach reading a good book. I would have to say the “cool” part of all of this, is that I’m able to do what I love every day. Nothing makes me happier than being creative and throwing myself into what I love.

How would you describe yourself in 3 adjectives? Creative. Driven. Adventurous.

How would you describe your style in 3 adjectives? Colorful. Vintage. Gypsy.

What item can you not leave the house without?  My Chapstick!!! I am 100% addicted to this stuff (Burt’s Bees in particular). If I leave the house without it, at the end of the day I feel like my lips might shrivel up and fall off my face.

What’s the most awkward date you’ve ever been on? I honestly can’t even remember the last time I’ve felt awkward… I think I’m pretty oblivious to that feeling. I always think everything is hilarious, so even in awkward situations I’m the one laughing and brushing it off.

What is your favorite movie/television show? I am a die-hard Dexter fan. Still haven’t found a show that I love as much as that! However, Revenge comes in a close second, followed by Once Upon a Time because I’m slightly obsessed with magic and fairy tales. Favorite movies are Vanilla Sky, Inception and Fight Club. Anything with a twist at the end that makes you re-evaluate the whole movie is right up my alley.

Tell us about the Stela 9 Holiday 2014 shoot! What was the inspiration? What was your favorite bag? Oh myyy goodness. Where to begin?! I’m still in shock at how fun this shoot was. My favorite bags were definitely the ones from India with the super colorful textiles and mirrored fabric. They were so unique and extra fun to model because they looked so bold in the photos.

Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by so many things…. Top 5 I would have to say would be

1) My family – they’re all so creative in their own ways and really have become my best friends as I’ve gotten older. They’re always encouraging me to continue to pursue Wild & Free and follow my dreams.

2) Nature – I’m sort of an introvert at times so I’ve always enjoyed being out in nature by myself. When I go on hikes alone, or escape to watch the sunset up in the mountains, I find myself so inspired by natural beauty that I just want to go home and think up new designs or new concepts for Wild & Free. Guatemala was a huge inspiration for me. When I returned home I felt so fueled by what I had experienced, and the places we traveled, that I just wanted to sit down in my office and create new designs for a week.

3) Music – I think music is one of the greatest things on earth. Sometimes just listening to a song I love will inspire me to go out and do something awesome with my day.

4) My Customers & Followers – Even though they probably don’t know it, my customers and fans/followers are always on the top of my inspiration list. Whenever someone reaches out to tell me how they identify with Wild & Free, or makes a purchase on my Etsy or website, I feel super inspired! It’s a great feeling to be able to share what I love with the world and get a positive response in return.

5) Lastly, I’m always inspired by other fashion designers and bloggers. There are way too many to list, but Free People, Spell & The Gypsy Collective and the blogger Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintage have always been key places I turn to when searching for inspiration.

What’s a typical Saturday night like for you? Each week is different, but if I’m not out listening to live music or visiting with friends, Saturday nights are spent making flower crowns or planning my next adventure for Wild & Free.

If you could travel to any country right now, where would it be? Australia!!! Specifically Byron Bay.

What was the best part of your experience in Guatemala? There were so many things I loved about Guatemala!!! It all seems like a dream now because it was so much fun and so enlightening. I think the best part was when we traveled to Rio Dulce. I’ve never been anywhere like that before and being able to see fireflies and a real jungle for the first time was something really special that I will treasure forever.

I also enjoyed getting to know the Stela 9 team. Everyone was so nice that I felt right at home. Jess especially made the experience a memorable one. She is so kind and inspirational. I loved talking to her about how she started Stela 9 and her experience with it so far. I came back home truly thinking of her as a role model, and I hope one day I will be able to expand Wild & Free in the way that she has with Stela 9.

What’s something you worked on recently that you’re super proud of? I actually just got done making a shell, turquoise and painted feather dreamcatcher right before I sat down to answer these questions. I’m slightly obsessed with the design and am definitely keeping one for myself.

What’s the most awkward thing that’s happened to you while modeling? I think the best thing about modeling is when you get those photos of your in-between expressions. Those are the best! Sort of like bloopers at the end of the movie. Like right before you’re about to sneeze, or if a bug lands on your face when the photo is taken. They make for awesome moments you can look back and laugh at later even though you might be uncomfortable at the time.

What’s your hidden talent? Hmmmm…. I had to think about this one for a long time… I think I’m secretly really good at eating gross amounts of sugar. I’m completely sugar addicted. Cookies and ice cream are like my kryptonite. Sometimes I eat ice cream for breakfast. It’s a huge problem.

What’s your weirdest phobia? I’m really afraid of the dark. I have a super vivid imagination and being in a room that is pitch black will really freak me out.

Current favorite item in your closet? I purchased a floral mini-skirt from a Goodwill shop a couple months ago and it’s quickly become my favorite item in my closet. I want to wear it everyday and it only cost me $3.00!

What is your style go-to? High-rise shorts with a crop top, boots and lots and lots of jewelry. All time favorite outfit.

What’s the best pick-up line you’ve ever used/have gotten? Haha! Oh man, I have a mental list of weird ones I’ve heard over the years. I think my favorite one happened when I was walking across campus at UCSB. This boy came up to me and said, “Your outfit looks super cool from far away.” After he said that I was so confused I didn’t even know what to say back. All I could think was, “So it doesn’t look cool from up close?” I just laughed and said “thank you” and kept walking. Not sure what he was trying to get out of me with that statement but I definitely laughed about it for the rest of the day.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you? Once I got bit by a squirrel…haha. That was pretty weird and embarrassing.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about love? Never stop believing that true love exists.

What song always puts you in a good mood? New Slang by The Shins or Ride by Lana del Rey. Top 2 favorite songs of all time.

If you could pick 4 people to have dinner with, dead or alive, who would you choose? Definitely Lana del Rey and Lorde. They are two women who I look up to and admire like crazy. I would love to be able to talk to them over dinner and hear their life stories.

For the other three spaces I think I would choose people from my life who were taken too quickly and who I never really got to say goodbye to. Just being able to talk to them one last time would be a true gift.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years, I hope I’m out traveling the world and continuing my journey with Wild & Free! I also hope I have acquired a pet deer, fox, and owl by then. Haha. That last sentence is probably a little unrealistic, unless I break into a zoo, but you never know! Fingers crossed.

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