I first got to know Chelsa and Julie during the very early days of Stowaway. They'd set up shop in a teeny space in lower Manhattan and were practically blazing with that special startup fire that only the best small-businesses have in their arsenal. Watching the two of them brainstorm, hustle, and bounce ideas off each other was to see the makings of a perfect professional pair in action. Of course, they quickly outgrew that space as Stowaway outgrew its infancy, and now I get to watch with bated breath as they build the coolest cosmetics company out there.
I've always been a put-my-face-on kinda girl, starting with a very real and very traumatizing (for my mother—I still think I looked good *snaps*) preoccupation with hot pink lipstick and coordinated pink eye glitter in the 4th grade. I've simplified my look a bit since then. My day-to-day makeup is about feeling put-together and pretty in a way that's as easy and effortless as possible, and Chelsa and Julie totally get that. Stowaway is a godsend for a grown-up gal like me. Their line is sophisticated, simple, and (praise the lord!) portable. Even the packaging is designed with an elegant, minimalist eye, in sizes that you'll actually be able to use up before they expire—waste not, want not! It's no surprise that a company like Stowaway took shape in NYC. As a group, New Yorkers place a high value on convenience, but won't compromise quality or style—we're an ambitious bunch. Good thing these two ladies are, too. The proverbial cherry-on-top is that they're both longtime supporters of 20x200, and we're extra-proud to say our editions adorn their walls. If you want Stowaway for your face and 20x200 art for your place, don't forget to enter the Work Lighter, Work Brighter giveaway we're doing with them and our friends at The Sill. – Keely + 20x200
5 Perfect Picks
1) Day 256: Vintage Airline Tags, by Lisa Congdon
I find travel to be equal parts alluring and anxiety producing. That means sometimes I need to be reminded of the romance of the experience to overcome the stress of planning for a trip. These luggage tags are a beautiful way to help remind me that even if packing and plotting for a trip can send me for an emotional loop, the adventure is always worth it! – Julie
2) Praia Piquinia 16/08/11 13h26, by Christian Chaize
I first saw this (along with the night version of this same photo) at the Frieze Art Fair in NYC and was originally drawn to this piece because it looked eerily familiar. I loved the crispness and the colors too but I swear I had been on that exact beach. Later, I realized the beach was in Portugal and I recently did a trip touring the entire country. I'm still not sure if I was on this exact beach (they all kinda have this same feeling and rockiness) but the photo itself reminds me of that trip and good memories. This picture and the night one now hangs in my NYC apartment. – Chelsa
3) Unloading, Port of Miami, by Shuli Hallak
I'm a macroeconomics geek, but it's hard to find art to match that interest! This was one of the first prints I ever purchased and it is now the anchor of a small collection of prints in my "global trade" collection. I'm fascinated by shipping routes, trade patterns and all of the intersecting industries that go into getting an item into the hands of a consumer. The humble container ship is probably one of the greatest innovations of the last century and has probably done as much for bringing the world together as the Internet. I love that this photograph captures some of the drama and mystery that I see in shipyards, ports and containers. – Julie
5) AS07-08-1933, a 20x200 Space Edition
There is something incredibly beautiful about space photos and astronauts doing their astronaut thing. My interest began when I was grade school in Florida and we were able to leave the classroom to watch the Discovery shuttle fly into space every time there was a scheduled lift-off. Then I recently came across some ridiculously beautiful prints by Vincent Fournier's space project (look it up, trust!). – Chelsa
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) You've got $5m to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
I would buy EVERYTHING from Robert Long's Men in Cities collection. – Julie
I probably wouldn't drop it all on one piece but rather spend it on a few different pieces. I would likely splurge on new/upcoming artists that are not so mainstream like Jen Dunlap, Kelly Tunstall, and maybe even splurge on a commissioned piece by Kelly Reemtsen. – Chelsa
2) Most coveted coffee table book?
I fell in love with Canadian photographer Greg Girard after my favorite science fiction author William Gibson mentioned him in his collection of essays, Distrust That Particular Flavor. Greg's series Phantom Shanghai shows these incredible juxtapositions of the city that are half futurist new construction and half old decay in one frame. I find them particularly resonant because Gibson says, “Time moves in one direction, memory another. We are that strange species that constructs artifacts intended to counter the natural flow of forgetting.” We are forgetting old Shanghai even as we see the old structures up against the new. This series is a perfect example of the intersection of the forward momentum of time and holding memory of old structures and artifacts. I think I'd love it as a coffee table series because another Gibson quote—"The future is here, it is just unevenly distributed"—is an excellent cocktail party conversation starter! – Julie
I have so many coffee table books it's a little ridiculous actually. I have some fashion oriented, like Minimalism and Fashion, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, and Diego Uchitel: Polaroids. Sadly, I don't know the proper names of some of the other books but I have a Julian Opie book, a few types of street art books, and vintage motorcycle ones that are also pretty rad. – Chelsa
3) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
Definitely a salon wall. I don't think I'd ever be able to pick just one piece. – Julie
Hmm, depends on the wall and the look of the room. I love a good statement piece though. I'm a "less is more" type of person. – Chelsa
4) If you could be reincarnated as an artist, who would you want to be?
Oh lord, I think that would be terrible actually! Entrepreneurs are tortured enough. I don't know that I'd want to go down that path! – Julie
Do makeup artists count? If so, Kevyn Aucoin (or Pat McGrath, I mean, let's be honest!) – Chelsa
5) There are so many rad, female-founded startups in NYC right now. What do you think it is about the community here that makes that possible? Could you imagine starting Stowaway anywhere else?
New York is the epicenter of many industries and I think that spurs creative entrepreneurship, which lends itself to a more diverse group of founders. I certainly can't imagine starting Stowaway anywhere else. – Julie
The more female founders there are, the more there will be. I just think it's momentum and a little but of "If she can do it, so can I" mentality. Women are also incredibly supportive of one another which also creates a breeding ground for future founders.
As for Stowaway, I do think NYC was by far the best place to start our company for so many reasons but the amount of women in this city that is Stowaway's core demographic doesn't hurt. New Yorkers enjoy convenience, simplicity, and luxury goods which is exactly what Stowaway promises--makeup you love in sizes you can carry and actually finish. Women are not sitting around in the 1950's boudoir era, they're on the move (and hopefully starting their own companies) and they need premium cosmetics to fit into their lives, not the other way around.– Chelsa
The 411 on Julie Fredrickson
Julie Fredrickson is the Co-founder and CEO of Stowaway Cosmetics. With a background in e-commerce and digital marketing, Julie has worked with brands like Ann Taylor, Gap, Equinox, Nike, and Coach. As an established entrepreneur—Julie’s first company, Coutorture Media, was a pioneer in the fashion blogging and affiliate marketing space. Before Stowaway Cosmetics, Julie found herself constantly hoarding sample-sized cosmetics, the perfect fit for her gym bag or carry-on for last-minute getaways. The samples were usually difficult to find, impossible to purchase regularly, and rarely the items she wanted. This led Julie to the realization that the market for smaller makeup wasn’t being met by existing brands. An inveterate optimizer, Julie is always looking for new ways to make her life easier to maintain and uses her knowledge to help Stowaway’s customers face that same problem. She believes beauty should fit into your life, instead of making your life fit your beauty products.
The 411 on Chelsa Crowley
Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Stowaway Cosmetics, Chelsa Crowley began her career as a makeup artist before working on product education in-house for Clinique Cosmetics. With a lifelong passion for the creative fashion world, she later worked alongside Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein Collection, leading to working as a fashion stylist. Because her love of beauty never faded, she decided to hone her editorial skills at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. As Chelsa picked up more freelance editorial and stylist jobs, she became increasingly frustrated by having to carry around all of her makeup products that were made of heavy glass jars and clunky packaging. When she couldn’t find prestige products in smaller sizes to lighten her load, she decided to create her own. Drawing on her beauty know-how, her product vision is focused on classic products that can go with you anywhere.