Asbury Park Blogger Crawl

I was flattered and so excited to be invited by Carrie Drazin of the fabulous blog to participate in her second “blog crawl” last Saturday in Asbury Park, New Jersey, following the first she organized in Red Bank last spring. Five other talented bloggers, Carrie and I set out to shed light on some of the unique and special spots Asbury Park has to offer. Don’t miss these bloggers’ posts on many popular, as well as hidden gems in this iconic Jersey Shore town!

The Daley Practice, 625 Bangs Avenue

As a certified yoga instructor, it seemed a natural fit for me to cover a yoga studio. For background “homework,” I took a class at The Daley Practice, 625 Bangs Avenue,, with owner Thea Daley, former professional dancer and hair stylist. Opened roughly six months ago, Thea’s studio specializes in Iyengar yoga, a form she has studied intensely for the last ten years which emphasizes physical alignment. Given that I practice almost strictly in heated studios, this was quite a departure for me. I rely on the heat to increase my flexibility and felt a wave of panic as I stepped into Thea’s space and saw ceiling fans going! It didn’t last long and I embraced the challenge of stepping outside of my warm and cozy comfort zone and trying something new.

Owner/Instructor Thea Daley at the rope wall
Following a warm up, Thea began guiding us, cueing multiple points of alignment in each pose and utilizing several different props to aid in laying a framework to build to a “peak.” This particular class focused on twisting. We used folding chairs, blankets, blocks and the wall in order to gradually open the body in stages. Our peak pose was parivrtta parsvakonasana, or revolved extended side angle pose, one that requires not only a deep spinal twist, but also a good deal of balance. Working step by step physically throughout the class, combined with Thea’s acute direction, enabled me to get deeper into this pose than I ever have, which is something I hadn’t thought I could achieve outside of a 105 degree room.

Tadasana, or mountain pose, is a usual starting position for any standing pose, and students in Iyengar yoga begin with basic standing poses. According to Thea, “tadasana is everything.” This method and Thea’s expert guidance provide an excellent foundation for any yoga practice. From both a teacher and student perspective, Thea’s studio and the practice of Iyengar yoga is something to add to any yogi’s routine if you want to form, solidify and/or strengthen good fundamental habits. Feeling both educated and inspired, I give Thea and The Daley Practice my highest recommendation. Check the website for more information and to schedule classes. You can also find the studio on Facebook and Instagram @thedaleypractice.

Interwoven, 511 Cookman Avenue

Next to yoga, I would say that shopping is my second passion. So for my other assignment I chose to blog about Interwoven, a stylish boutique located at 511 Cookman Avenue, From the first moment I set foot in this boutique earlier this year I was immediately drawn to the simple and soothing aura of the space…then blown away by the merchandise, simultaneously hip and polished, and all at a very fair price point. Below please find an interview with owner Bianca Freda, who is as effortlessly cool as her beautiful store.

How long have you been open?
The main shop on Cookman opened on Black Friday of last year. The boardwalk pop-up shop (Market at Fifth Avenue, 1200 Ocean Avenue) opened in May 2015.

What was your background prior to opening the store?
I did visuals for Anthropologie and dreamt about owning my own business. I also worked in the interior design field and new store openings prior to opening Interwoven.

What is your design philosophy?
My response is long and lengthy and not so glamorous. πŸ˜‰ I pay attention to subtle changes that occur in fashion; street style is my favorite. I admire people who have style and who do not concern themselves with trends. I admire the juxtaposition of effortlessness in an outfit along with looking put together. I pay attention, I observe, I don’t research trends. Too much analyzation clutters your judgment. I am such a visual learner and observer, so my inspiration comes from my daily routine. The colors combined in foods, paintings, outdoors-it’s all inspirational if you just observe. And that’s exactly why if my surroundings make me uncomfortable, I can’t endure the pain πŸ˜‰ Sometimes I will stop what I am doing to rearrange furniture or a display at the shop…one of my quirks, i guess.

Would you say you have a style icon?
I’m enamored by the photographer Bill Cunningham. He’s a street style photographer for the NY times. Looking at him you would never think he had anything to do with fashion. He wears a blue smock as his uniform and the rest of his gear is underwhelming, but what he does in recognizing trends is unparalleled. He’s not caught up in the nonsensical side of fashion. He’s just a regular guy with a vision. Having vision is the utmost important thing in anything you do.

Owner Bianca Freda and I (sweater and jeans from Interwoven)
What do you consider when choosing which companies to work with?
Fit, would I want someone I know to wear it, is there a story behind the brand? Will this item be in the shopper’s closet years from now? Are they pleasant to deal with? For real, there are some nasty people out there and I just don’t want to support that nonsense.

What are your hobbies/interests?
I am fortunate to love what I do, so I consider Interwoven my hobby and sourcing what people what, an interest. When I step away from the shop you’ll find me practicing yoga, dreaming about where I want to travel to when work is not so busy and rearranging furniture in my house.

It was such a pleasure to chat with Bianca, not to mention have her personal attention when I shopped in the store recently. I am so impressed with the passion and spirit she brings to every aspect of her business. She encourages people to shop from their closets and come to Interwoven to get pieces that will freshen up their wardrobe. If you are still bored with your closet, or struggling with how to style certain pieces, give the shop a call to make a personal appointment with Bianca (732) 775-1713. Until you can visit one of her locations in person, visit Interwoven on Facebook and Instagram

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