You may remember my post in January about launching a HUGE project in February... Well, like most things done for the first time, there were some unforeseen kinks to work out before the launch. After almost of year of planning, holding back a month just about killed me. I am beyond stoked to to inform you the kinks are gone and I have OFFICIALLY launched my Indie-Go-Go page for The Pinpoint Method this afternoon!
 ------------------------------------------------- FIND ME HERE ----------------------------------------->>

The Pinpoint Method is a journey across the states to meet with creatives in any field of design to accomplish a few things. First, to show what it is that Designers actually do and how it relates to you everyday. Second, to focus mainly on smaller cities to prove that success in design isn't found only in mega cities. Good design really does happen everywhere. 

Starting in this Spring (2012), I will be setting out on an adventure to meet with designers across America. Whether they're a costume designer, lighting designer, print designer, shoe designer, web designer, or industrial designer, I'm going to meet with them (interview, collaborate, etc...) to observe and then share with you what it is these designers do. Along the way, I will be writing about my journey, posting photos and videos, and sharing my experience with you at

Since I love collaborating and believe it leads to some of the best work, I will be including the talents of my friends to take this journey a step further. Along the way, photographers, videographers, and other creative brains in my crew will be meeting up with me in different cities to professionally shoot what's going on so I can efficiently relay the Designer's story.

At the end of collecting photos, footage and priceless knowledge for a year, I am going to put everything into a Design Lifestyle documentary. 

Good design happens everywhere and we're setting out to find it!

To read a little more about the project, visit the Facebook page or the Indie-go-go page. To keep up with all Pinpoint updates, follow the journey on Twitter.

If you have never heard of Indie-Go-Go, it is a safe platform used for a variety of feilds to raise funds for projects. There are 8 levels of donations available with awesome perks, such as Bueno Bueno key necklaces, shirts, posters, exclusive updates, etc... Thank you to all the creatives who have donated a design for donors!

Thanks for all the support!

PS the pinpoint method site is currently being coded, but you can still check it out at A huge thanks to Will from Huckleberry Creative for teaming up with me and getting this site designed and ready for the journey!

**Sunday update: Hi, I just wanted to let you know the first five donors have put this project at $340.00! Thank you so much Justin, Vania, Erika, Heather Nikole, and Anonymous. Thank you all for being the first to financial support this journey!**

Feature Friday/// Gypsy

Photo by Daeja Fallas (

Name: Kate Ruggiero
Occupation: daydreamer, designer Gypsy lingerie. one-of-a-kind undies.
Current Residence: Hawaii. (north shore Oahu)

GYPSY is a unique, classic, romantic line of hand designed underwear, grown from lazy Saturday mornings and the goal of making all women feel beautiful in their skin. The line of modern vintage underthings was born in Hawaii and was recently launched in April of 2010, with a summer and winter collection to date. The style is inspired from the owner and designer, Kate Ruggiero’s keen sense of style and love of all things beach. The line truly grew out of a free-spirited lifestyle – the sand in your toes, a cold dip in the ocean. Kate Ruggiero traded her comfortable life in NYC and a successful career in fashion photography for a simpler way of life that would allow her the space & time to discover other passions. Living in Hawaii with this new freedom, she started dreaming, creating, and sewing. She began searching for the softest, most eccentric fabrics and designing a perfect pair that would make every woman feel beautiful. Recognizing that mother earth is herself a great lady, Kate sought to make the line as green-thinking and waste minimizing as possible. The Gypsy brand evokes both a carefree spirit and inspires every woman to be a freethinker and an individual who is true to herself and the land she inhabits. Gypsy is about romance and about following your heart. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and is handsewn locally in Hawaii by the designer herself. As women we are each so unique, Gypsy embodies that beauty in each pair.

This is an exciting adventure and the line will be expanding in the coming months.
Please view the current collection at
The line is available online at
In stores, on Oahu: Olive Boutique, 43 Kihapai St., Kailua
Guava Shop, 66-165 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Shasa Emporium, Kahala Mall.

On Maui:Pink by Nature, 3663 Baldwin Ave, Makawao.

In Europe: Soho Boutique, Via Marconi 63, Cuneo ITALY.


Why did you decide  to start designing handmade underwear?  
I wanted to get into sewing bikinis and was given a sewing machine as a gift from a few close friends last year. Everyone warned me how I may want to ease into working with bathing suit material since it's tricky fabric to work with. Around the time I was given the sewing machine, I went back to New York for a vacation and went fabric shopping. I found some really beautiful stretch fabric. I had 2 pairs of undies that I loved. I cut them up and basically redesigned them so together they would be the perfect pair. It started out just for fun, making them for myself and friends but friends starting asking for several pairs so I decided to keep hunting for good fabrics and to try selling them. I am always searching for cute, comfy and sexy undies. I wanted to make something my friends and I would love.

Each pair is one of a kind. Designed & made locally. I try to keep my personal taste in mind, so keeping the styles and fabrics really unique and beautiful is really important to me. The feeling of gypsy is modern vintage, unique but classic.

How long did it take you to put that dream into action? 
I was gifted the sewing machine for my 30th birthday last July. I started learning to sew from my good friend and playing around with the design & what worked for me. By Christmas, I was getting very curious & inspired to start finding fabrics that would work well. After a trip home to NY and some fabric scouring & shopping, I started creating and sewing the designs in the new year. By May of this year, I had my first shop debut. In Hawaii, there is an event every First Friday in Chinatown within the Arts District. The art galleries and boutiques open their doors & it's a really wonderful event. I was featured in May's First Friday on May 7th at Etown Studios, an awesome boutique in Chinatown. That was the debut of Gypsy's first collection and over the month of May, my line sold out from Etown.

Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? 
Yes, it's pretty much the reason I moved to Hawaii. That decision to leave NY and move to Hawaii was not an easy one. My entire family and close friends are in NY and I truly aminspired by that city. Since moving here though, I find you can be happy in two completely different places. I love the energy & range of experiences you can have in NY. From your interaction with a cab driver to the guys at your local bodega, the city is full of wonderful energy and inspiration. But I found myself in a place where I just simply wanted to start living the dream of a house by the beach. Of bikerides in the morning, beach walks & swims and being able to spend most of my days outside. I was ready for a chang. I came to visit Hawaii and spent a sunday afternoon floating in the middle of the ocean. It literally was that moment when I realized I could do that every sunday if I lived here. And as soon as my plane left to head back to NY and I was tearing up, I realized this place was where my heart was.

How has spending a lot of time outdoors influenced your designs? 
Hawaii & living a life where you basically spend the majority of your time outdoors has given me both space to dream and think as well as colors to inspire me. Riding my bike down the bike path here you bike under a range of tropical flowers, palm trees & sun filters through the branches. You get shady breezes and it's the most amazing feeling. Or you can step onto the beach with your bare feet, sit on the sand, watch the ocean and listen to the rhythms of the water. All of these things inspire me by renewing me. I can take a swim in the ocean after a crazy day and it brings me back to center. Living so close to the ocean, you are constantly reminded of the cycles and rhythms of life and it basically forces you to let go and just embrace things as they are. This has been a tremendously good lesson for me with my new business.

Where do you pull the bulk of your inspiration from?
I have worked in fashion photography for the last 8 years. In NY I worked for a fashion photographer for 5 years and have always loved being involved.  I lived in the East Village and Brooklyn for 5 years & loved every minute but always dreamed of living on the beach. It felt like something I may never do if I didn't take the chance at that moment. I was leaving my job and was ready for something new in my life. I came out to Hawaii and it just felt right so I took a leap and moved here 3 years ago.

I feel like living in hawaii has allowed me the time and room to think of this idea and to try sewing for fun. moving out here, was the first time i really felt like a traveling gypsy. leaving my home and everything comfortable for something completely unknown, without knowing a soul here. i also have tons of amazing friends in my life who embody this idea of being a free spirit and following what you love without questioning why. i live by the saying 'follow your heart' and somehow the word gypsy evokes that to me. Be your own person and love it.

I am inspired by Hawaii, my dreams, travel, my notebooks & journals from previous travels & by my peers and friends. I am inspired by the idea that I can have a positive impact on the world and that there is constant room for growth and improvement. I find that rereading my journal writing from travels & looking through photos helps my mind to start thinking the right way again & expands my thoughts, while getting me centered & giving me the space to really start brainstorming. My surroundings help tremendously. When I get stuck or feel uninspired, I can go to the beach & be revived by the ocean. I can float on my back, under the sun & come out feeling anew. It always brings me back to myself and creating again &  helps me remember why I began this journey to begin with.

Most of all, though, my brand started from one small little line that inspires me every step of the way. FOLLOW YOUR HEART. Growing up, my mother raised me through all difficult decisions using that phrase. And ironically, when I began Gypsy, a very close friend reminded me of the phrase as the only way to live and conduct my business. No matter how much you doubt yourself or what your fears or hesitations in life are, things will work out if you simply listen to your heart & believe solely in what you want. I believe that business can create social change, especially when it is born from a place of need, inspiration, and reinvestment in a community. That is how this whole adventure began. I followed my heart to Hawaii. Then, despite all fears, I followed my heart to begin Gypsy. It has never failed me. I am grateful for every step of this exciting adventure.

How and why did you decide on that one specific cut?
I want something different that is sexy but still provides enough coverage so that you can actually sit around the house in them on a saturday morning..... Being that I live with all girls and find us constantly roaming the house on weekend mornings in our undies, i wanted something comfortable with enough coverage  but still really cute. I basically deconstructed several pairs of panties that had aspects I liked about them. For example, the boyshort can be super cute & comfy but not the sexiest style. The brazilian style can be a bit too skimpy and you feel weird tramping around the house in them. I cut apart several pairs I owned and loved and started constructing a pattern that worked for me.

Since you are an undies gal, does it bother you to see people clearly wearing the wrong undergarments (visible lines and bunching) with
their outfit?
Who am i to judge? I try to make undies that will make a woman feel beautiful, happy and comfy! As long as your undies do that, life is good right?

Do you fold your panties or are you more down for the crumple and toss into the drawer method?
I'm a bit of a gypsy, I have a huge crumpled pile of lace & flowers in my lingerie bin!

I love all of the Gypsy photos. The combination of photographer, and models (and the setting didn't hurt either) set the mood for Gypsy wonderfully. What was your process for that selection?
I met Daeja randomly upon moving to Hawaii, and she has become an incredible friend and inspiration to me. After spending a ton of time together & seeing her work, I realized she had a very similar aesthetic to me and that it would be an amazing opportunity for us to work together. We have a very similar vision and that vision works wonderfully for gypsy. She tried out the collection and we swapped photo inspiration & ideas and worked super close on getting the style and modern romantic feel of the images to be just right for gypsy.

Any advice for other small businesses peeps?
It's truly about putting yourself out there & being open to meeting people every step of the way. It's about knowing what style you love. Good things will come in your direction, you just have to pay attention.

Do you design any/all of the patterns used?
Yes, I design the pattern for the undies. I currently have the one pattern which I constructed myself and offer the one style in several different fabrics. I am looking forward to the near year and expanding into other designs and offering more sizes and options. In the new year,gypsy  will be releasing a lace bandeau bra and a bikini into the collection. I am so excited about all the new stuff to come!

If you were to dance around the house in your skivvies, what song would be playing?
And It Stoned Me by Van Morrison. I grew up singing Van Morrison songs with my mom and it's truly one of my favorite albums. When I moved out to Hawaii & was bringing my record player and collection, I had to make a slim selection of what records to bring. Now it's one of my favorite records to put on and dance around the kitchen to while I'm cooking. no matter what that song always makes me smile.

What are your thoughts on people going commando?

...if it makes you happy!


so once upon a time in walked this really pretty, skinny, cool, musician girl named sara.
she needed her mop cut so she came to the salon i used to work at (before the sunchild.)
i knew i liked her instantly which doesn't happen often. she didn't talk much about her music...still doesnt to this whatever i wanted to know i had to ask...anyway out of the haircut we became fast friends, we both like to talk about shocking subjects and we like to see people squirm. oh heavens,  maybe we will tell you about number 4 one day. not now. oh and we have the same birthday! she was the first person i met who shared that with me:) we even had a 70's birthday party one year at the roller rink. see she's super fun!

i ramble...sorry.
about a month ago i called sara and asked her if we could do an interview for the blog, it just so happened she needed a haircut so she drove her bike over to the salon, drank some mimosas and we began to do the interview on the floor. i made her put on her album and every person that walked into the room i would say "you like this? this is her singing!"

i'm not just saying she is rad bc shes my friend. i'm saying shes rad bc she has got a wicked voice and can write some amazing songs! she even wrote me and my husbands first dance song at our wedding...and sang the jamocha song (song for jacob)i shared with y'all in feb.
my cousin even thinks she is kick ass which tells you she really is legit, bc he doesn't think many people are awesome..they are in a band together as well but I'll talk about that another time...this is all about 

 sara van buskirk. new album
yay the album is done, complete, finished! woo-hoo!!!!

Brandi (me): You are at a fancy dinner with a bunch of important people and you have to use the restroom all of a sudden. When you get there and do your business you look over and there is no more toilet paper. What would you use to wipe your booty?

sara: I would use my underwear, put them in a plastic bag, throw them out the window...then fetch 'em later. No, scratch that, I would probably use my underwear and throw them away. What kind of first question is this? Ha!

me: How do you market yourself?
sara: Poorly. Mass text messages to friends, facebook event invites, reverb nation, myspace. One time I printed posters and flyers and actually took them to the venue...that was a big deal for me.

me: Who are your musical influences?

sara: Bob Dylan, Nico, Emmylou Harris, Neko Case, Ryan Adams, Feist (what a talented lady!), Woody Guthrie, Lightnin' Hopkins, Lady Ga-I mean. That's all for now.

me: What about non musical influences?
sara: Life, other people's lives, my animals, my family, my friends, making my house a home, working in my garden.

me: what was your first musical experience performing?
sara: Well, I grew up playing in the church from ages 8-19. My first Houston "gig" was at Deans Credit Clothing downtown in July of 2005 for this singer/songwriter in the round show. I was really nervous. I was really new looking. But I had a great time and met a lot of new people that helped encourage me to continue. That's what I love about Houston, artists support each other.

me: Why do you want to record or sell your music?
sara: All I ever wanted was to get these songs recorded. I didn't plan for anything else, but once it was down, I started writing again. I think I already have half my next record written. The selling part is not that important to me - although necessary to keep going. I love it that people listen. I love it that I hear this record blasting from my neighbor's cars as they come home. It's a collective effort between friends that I am so proud of.

me: Where do you do most of your writing?
sara: On the floor, like how you are sitting right now. In a composition notebook.

me: (hunched over, crossed legs, elbows on floor)

me: Pencil or pen?
sara: Fine point Sharpie pen.

me: Who is your audience?

sara: I would say 18-60 year old wino's or hipsters, white bread, taco garcia's...lets just say all kinds of people. I love them all. When I play a full house it's like playing for all your friends because the crowd could never be more accepting. It's like a house party.

me: Describe yourself in 1 word.

sara: Interested (in everything), hands on.

me: Thats three words.

sara: I know.
me: Ok what about your music? one word.

sara: I feel narcissistic.

me: I know. And again three words.

sara: No! I'm saying I would feel narcissistic if I had to describe the music in one word and that word was like, "better" or "glorious" or something. So I guess my one word would be "honest"? cause it is.

me: Name an artist you can't stand.
sara: No comment.

me: Would you ever get blonde extensions, fake boobs, and sing pop music for a record deal?
sara: No! I don't want a record deal.

me: What did you grow up listening to?
sara: Sixpence None the Richer...Leigh Nash was my vocal training. I still have every one of their albums.
me: What are the venues one would see you play at?
sara: Avant Garden, Walters, and The Corkscrew until it recently closed. I've played Rudyards & Deans & Notsuoh & Continental Club & Mucky Duck. That's all I can think of right now. I try to stick with the non-fussy places. I prefer down home & I prefer not charging cover. If you've come to see me play, I don't want you to have to give me money, you can if you want, but I don't want it being a requirement.

me: Miley or Taylor?
sara: Uhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahaha aren't they the same?
me: omg.

me: Whats the first song you remember hearing?
sara: My mama singing to me. She would sing old hymns or traditionals and I had to hear them until I fell asleep.

me: Have you ever had your heart broken?
sara: Of course. I wouldn't be an artist if that didn't happen regularly. Wait. I would be a human if that didn't happen.
me: What are the majority of your songs about?
sara: Life lessons. General, little bits of wisdom, funny or sad, not trying to be profound, simplistic.

me: What are your favorite tracks on the album?
sara: The acoustic tracks we recorded at Taylors house.

I wrote The Place Where You Are I was 16 yrs old, it pretty much summed up my life at that point. It's very spiritual, like not being able to find God.

Daughter of Your Bones is also very personal. It's about my family.

The Duel is the newest song on the record and I am thrilled with how that one turned out.

Where can we get your new album?
sara: iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and the like soon. I will be updating everyone on the email list and/or myspace when it goes digital. Hopefully they will soon be at Cactus Records when I get the time to run them by there. Or you could come to the CD Release party on the 14th of May at Avant Garden! 411 Westheimer. Free entry, $10 cd's & hopefully some extras. Acoustic performances from Brandon Elam of The Literary Greats & Gretchen Schmaltz & hopefully Sergio Trevinio of Buxton.

me: Random question. If you could only choose 1 thing to wear on your face (make up) what would you choose?
sara: Eye Shadow/Eye Liner 
 the end
 me and sara goofing off in the studio. i bet you wanna know what we were recording huh? hahaha

see you at the release houston!
listen to one of her songs here.