Cornelia Guest, the daughter of American fashion icon CZ Guest and polo champion Winston Frederick Churchill Guest is a well-known philanthropist and entrepreneur. Cornelia’s passion for animals and nature are the sources of inspiration for her business ventures. Her most recent project is the launch of an amazing line of eco-conscious handbags. She also has a vegan catering business called Cornelia Guest Events with delicious and healthy dishes, many of which are made from produce selected at her own garden located in Old Westbury, NY. Named by Donna Karan as “One of the Women Who Inspire”, I am excited to share what Cornelia has been up to lately and of course get some of her green tips and product picks.
MM: Tell us a little about your new handbag and accessories line.
CG: I wanted to create an intelligent alternative; a line of accessories that used no animals, was luxurious, and very wearable, that you can take all day to all night.
MM: Where is it available for purchase and what is the price range?
CG: It’s available at Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdales.com, Target, Tootsies, C.Orrico and boutiques around the country. A list of stores is available on CorneliaGuest.com. All under $350.00.
MM: Three words to describe the collection?
CG: Humane, affordable, beautiful.
MM: Most of the vegan handbags on the market are lacking in style- how did you do it, and so well- I love them!
CG: Thank you. It’s a compilation of all the things I love and I asked lots of my friends for help!
MM: A lot of people hear the words “cruelty-free” tossed around, what exactly does that mean to you?
CG: “Cruelty-free” means “humane.” No animals are ever hurt while making my products. My cookies are also cruelty-free. My book, which is coming out June 12, 2012, “Simple Pleasures,” is a humane, cruelty-free lifestyle book.
MM: What are some of your favorite vegan finds?
CG: Clothing: Stella McCartney
Restaurants: NYC Angelika Kitchen, Organic Avenue
Shoes: I’m working on my own. That’s my next task.
MM: Who are some of your favorite designers?
CG: Badgley Mischka, St. John, J.Crew, Levi’s, American Apparel
MM: How would you describe your personal style?
CG: My style is humane and classic with a twist.
MM: Name three of your eco-conscious staples?
CG: Fine & Raw Chocolate, Juice Press, CleanWell sanitizing wipes, and Dr. Frank Lipman’s Sustain Protein Supplement powder for smoothies.
MM: What type of skincare do you use?
CG: Joanna Vargas — all her products, and I swear by her facials!
MM: What about hair care? Yours always looks so good!
CG: Wen. I LOVE their shampoo and Nikki Ray at AKS Salon cuts it.
MM: What do you do to de-stress?
CG: Pilates, dance, play with my dogs. I love the water. The ocean is the best de-stresser ever!
MM: What tips do you have for someone who would like to transition to a vegan lifestyle?
CG: Find what humane, cruelty-free products you like and slowly start to incorporate them into your daily life. Bit by bit, baby steps grow into big steps.
|Cornelia Guest has been passionate about animals and nature since she was a child. Her passion is reflected in every aspect of her life including her philanthropy, animal activism, and business enterprises.In 2009 she founded Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies, catering high-end charity and entertainment events with healthy, vegan dishes. Her mission is to encourage and inspire people to be conscious of the diet choices they make in their daily lives.Cornelia is currently designing her own line of jewelry, as well as a collection of animal-friendly handbags, wallets and dog accessories made with a vegan alternative to leather; both lines are scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011.Daughter of American fashion icon CZ Guest and polo champion Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, Cornelia has been able to use her media attention and professional contacts to support Humane Society of New York, and was named by Donna Karan as one of the Women Who Inspire. Cornelia is also an advocate for New Yorkers for Marriage Equality and hosted their fall 2010 event with Mayor Bloomberg.|
Avis Richards’ dedication to philanthropy is paramount. The Founder of Birds Nest Foundation, a non-profit organization that produces documentaries, short videos and PSA’s for a multitude of well deserving and under-represented charities, Avis Richards brings passion, zeal and energy to every project she takes on–raising much needed attention to lesser known charities and promoting awareness for their meaningful causes. This New York based mother of two has teamed up with New Yorkers and A-list celebrities to produce films for the charities of Goldie Hawn, Michael Bolton, Andre Agassi, John Legend and many others. I met Avis last summer and was so impressed by all of her talents and love of giving. The award-winning producer shares some of her interesting history, opinions and lifestyle secrets.
MM: What inspired you to start the Birds Nest Foundation?
AR: Seven years ago, I noticed a lack of quality media content for non-profits. Many of these non-profits spent large sums of money on production companies to get their word out. That’s money that could be going to a good cause, so I stepped in. It’s really all about giving back through media and giving non-profits a voice.
MM: I love the foundation’s appellation. Is there a special meaning behind it?
AR: Well, “Avis” means “bird” in Latin, so that was part of the name. But also, Birds Nest is always “hatching” new creative ideas, both beautiful and impactful once they leave the nest.
MM: As a crusader for Healthy Movement, a primary focus is improving and educating Americans about proper nutritional habits, especially for our youth; why is childhood nutrition so important to you?
AR: 12.5 million children are obese. Diabetes has increased nine-fold in the past 25 years. As a parent with two wonderful children, nutrition is especially important. I’ve gone to schools; I’ve seen what children eat. We need nutrition education for kids and adults, as this problem is a national concern.