Julia Chebotar 00:04
Spice up your life with me: Health Chef Julia, as I set out on the journey of What Is Healthy. In each episode, we’ll explore the different meanings of healthy for some healthy means indulging in something decadent and delicious. For others. It’s a mental health day and a good workout. There’s more to health than just food. It’s about living well enjoying your life and having fun having you heard redheads do it best. Come with me, and we’ll find out just what healthy is. Welcome to a new podcast episode of What Is Healthy? a podcast where we share every hack to get a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. I’m Chef Julia and today we’ll be talking to my favorite mother daughter duo Alison Bruhn and Delia Folk, the founders of The Style That Binds Us. It’s so great to have you on girls. Thank you so much for recording today.
Alison Bruhn 00:51
We’re so excited. We wouldn’t even be in business together pretty much if it weren’t for you. We’re thrilled.
Julia Chebotar 00:58
Please introduce yourselves and tell everyone about your story so that when we get into the questions, they kind of like know more about you.
Delia Folk 01:06
So I am Delia Folk. I’m the co founder of The Style That Binds Us the daughter in the duo and I live in New York City near Julia and I interned at Versace. And then I worked at Barney’s on the buying team for four years in beauty ready to wear and jewelry. And Mom, do you want to say who you are.
Alison Bruhn 01:28
I’m Alison Bruhn. I’m the mom and I am a wardrobe stylist I work with women in their closets. And right now I am working with a ton of Brides, mother of the bride grandmother, the bride mother of the groom. weddings are kind of ramping back up. So, post COVID. So are you know, looking forward to post COVID. So I’m a busy busy woman these days, which is fun, exciting.
Julia Chebotar 01:55
So we the three of us met through a women’s networking group. And we had a like weekend. It wasn’t a retreat. It was like a workshop. And we were all flushing our business ideas. And I told Delia to her mom that they need to team up and do a join mother, daughter of fashion duo. And then they took off and created the style that binds us which is amazing. Oh well, but
Delia Folk 02:22
also the retreat where you so kindly fed us the most delicious food in the Hamptons was another pivotal time for me. I wonder I can’t remember which came first? I guess it must have been the retreat was later that then?
Julia Chebotar 02:38
I think so. I don’t remember they were the same month. Maybe they were like either September October, November of 2017
Delia Folk 02:45
Oh my god. So anyway, yes, you have been a crucial part
Julia Chebotar 02:49
As Have you ladies. So the reason that I started this podcast and we talked about this all the time, like when we collaborate on things is like how to stay healthy, what is healthy. And I think that everybody has such a different take on what healthy is. And that’s the reason why I wanted to start this podcast was to interview people from all sorts of businesses and areas of expertise to take their experiences and their approach on what healthy is for them. So what is healthy for you guys? I know you guys are very, very health conscious. You guys eat very healthy, no do your vegetarian, but like, what do you what stands out for you guys and what is healthy for you.
Alison Bruhn 03:30
But one thing that I would say as demand is Delia, I’ve learned a lot from Delia and certainly from you Julia because, you know, I would never was an over I wasn’t ever I didn’t have weight issues. Just a kind of what was available. Plus I grew up in the time where we were thrilled when our parents went out we got to have a TV dinner. I mean, you know, gross Yeah, you know really not so healthy thing, such heavy things. And so working and you know, raising Delia and being more aware of all the things that came about with you know, shopping the edges of the grocery store, in that time when we had a was a YouTube video that we made with you, Joe, you’re walking through the grocery store and things to pick and you know, five ingredients or last last, you know, more color, more health, all these all these different things that I picked up. And also I think, as a woman who is you know, getting older, it’s getting, it’s more important, again, to to really pay attention now to what we eat. It’s more than just what you’re doing on the outside, you know, so you look good in your bathing suit. It’s more about make sure that all your body parts are still working and you’re doing the right things for your scan and you’re getting enough sleep and I think too during Koba we’ve realized and people have reached out to us more and more about healthy being healthy mentally. And also how your mental health as along with what you’re eating really affect your physical health, right. It’s this whole Big thing that. So that’s kind of where where I am.
Delia Folk 05:04
I know it’s been interesting learning about the gut mom has a client whose daughter, I think was suffering from depression potentially. And once they changed her diet, I think it got much better.
Alison Bruhn 05:14
Yeah, that’s definitely a thing. Like, everything stems from the gut. It really does. And she, she, now she knows, and they had tried everything, you know, and, and once they changed her diet, and every now she knows she’s a teenager, so let’s say it’s during exams or whatever, or during COVID, she came to her mother, and she’s like, I can tell that I haven’t been eating right, because I’m feeling kind of sad. So I need to get back on my diet. So that’s, that is a that is just a bit amazing thing. I mean, no medicine. No, you know, anything, just literally you can really it’s so important. Julia, can you tell us a little bit more about that? I mean, I know you’ve told us about it before. But
Julia Chebotar 05:55
absolutely, I think you are what you eat. And I think the foods that you put into your body to nourish us. And if you’re not nourishing yourself from within, you’re not going to look good from the outside, you know, it’s going to affect your skin, it’s going to affect your digestion, it’s going to affect your mental health, it’s going to affect all sorts of different body parts and body issues. Because the inside of your of your system can’t properly process at all
Alison Bruhn 06:20
that makes sense. And I also think because the conversation is starting in the world, you know, more people are talking about this and sort of willing to give it a try. And today yesterday, I’ll just go ahead and say it I had a hamburger and I had chips, and I had a cook. And I know
Julia Chebotar 06:36
y’all are cringing, but anyway, not at all I’m not cringing enjoy it.
Alison Bruhn 06:40
Well, you know, days, but today, today, like, I don’t know, mid morning, I was just very good. I want what’s wrong with me. And then I thought you ate sugar, you ate fried potato chips or whatever they were, I mean, and I’ve never done that before in my life, I have never thought equated how I’m feeling or what I you know,
Julia Chebotar 07:01
it’s so interesting. Like, if you go on like a cleanse or like, let’s say, you know, you’re eating healthy for like, they even say that if you It takes 20 days to start a habit or like 21 days to start a habit. So like, if you eat clean for 21 days, and you’re done with your diet, or even like whole 30 and you’re done. And then you go back to eating the way you were eating, you’re gonna feel like crap, you’re gonna notice that like you have less energy, you are more tired. You have like dark circles under your eyes, you’re not going to the bathroom as regularly like everything is connected, fascinating and easy to achieve. It is it is but it’s hard mentally to get to, to change those habits. But once you do, absolutely. So how would you guys describe your personal style, because you’re so similar but so different?
Delia Folk 07:46
Oh, my, I have no personal style. It’s all over the place. One day, I want to be a badass rocker chick and wear my black leather jacket. And then another day, I want to be super feminine and floral and wear a romantic dress. So I don’t have one style. I mean, I like being tailored as well. So it for me, it really depends on the occasion, the time of day.
Julia Chebotar 08:12
You just enjoy it. Basically you get to play dress up forever,
Delia Folk 08:15
right? Yeah, that’s my job.
Julia Chebotar 08:18
I mean, that’s the best.
Alison Bruhn 08:19
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s what I tell my clients a lot when they’re like, I can’t figure out which girl I am. And you know, it’s like your personality, you know, or sometimes imagine, like, it’s really hard to say, okay, most definitely blue is my favorite color without saying, but then I kind of like yellow too. And oh, and I really like green and you know is the same thing with your sense of style. It really can depend on your mood. So it’s great to be able to and that’s the thing if I’m more tailored, and Delia is more feminine, and then sometimes we just switch that up.
Julia Chebotar 08:52
Well, it’s the same thing with food, right? It’s like I always get asked on a dating app, what’s your favorite thing to cook? It’s like literally asking, what’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite thing to wear? like? I like variety.
Alison Bruhn 09:03
Right? That’s so true. That’s exactly right. And it’s just like when you decorate your home. And you know, for years, you go one way and then one day you’re like I think I want fresh.
Julia Chebotar 09:13
Exactly. But I think everything needs to everything is like cyclical, everything has its moment, its place, and then you want to change. And I think that’s I think that’s kind of cool about our generation and our kind of means
Alison Bruhn 09:26
yes, the world and if you have the opportunity to travel that influences so much with style with food with what we read and how we think and, you know, all kinds of things like that.
Julia Chebotar 09:40
Absolutely. Hopefully soon we’ll all be able to travel more. What’s the biggest misconception that you’ve come across to people like when they hear that you
Alison Bruhn 09:49
guys are like stylists, for me it would be they think I’m a you know, a style for photoshoots something like that. And I’m more about solving the problems for individual women. For like their everyday look, yeah, but also not just everyday look, it can also be visual branding, which I don’t really like the word branding, when you’re talking about a human being, but I love it when people come to me and say, Okay, I’m an advertising executive, I work with mainly men, I don’t want to wear suits, because that puts them off of an ad advertising. So I need to be a little creative, but I need to be professional, but I don’t like you know, they give me all these their little parameters. And then we talk about their lifestyle and how certain pieces if they invest in this piece, it can transfer over to their life outside of work as well. And, and I also love, you know, like packing for people, one person will be the first part of the week, I’m in Iowa, or, you know, somewhere like that. And then the next part, I’m in LA, for work. So, you know, we’re like, you have this wardrobe for the first part of the week. And then we’re going to take this part out of the suitcase, we’re going to switch to the white leather jacket, you’re ready for LA, you know, those kind of things that I love, it’s my mind game, you know, figuring out the puzzle of who they are, who they want the world to know, making them feel so confident. And I push this so much with people that you have all this power of what you put on your body that know what most people don’t take advantage of. And if a perfect example was the inauguration, you know, when those women came out in those monochromatic the dresses with the with the matching coats, and the boots, and the gloves and everything, they were super women, I mean, you know, and those colors were bold, and Michelle abao, that belt, just everything, you know, you just got chills when you saw them. Because obviously what they were saying was we’re strong, you can be strong and feminine. We’re smart, we are polished, we are taking on the world, you’re going to be so proud of us girls, you know, you just felt it. And I was like, and no one a lot of people watching what we’re not thinking like me, what are they trying to say with their clothes, but they just got it without realizing they were even getting, you know, they were thinking, Wow, those are some strong beautiful women and great colors. But they didn’t know that subconsciously, they were thinking bold, strong, powerful. A new beginning, basically, before the women open their mouth.
Julia Chebotar 12:11
I love that so much. It’s basically like your your clothing is your personality. It’s it’s like the first thing that people see before you open your mouth, or they could hear your voice. So it has so much character and so much personality. And I feel like you guys get to create someone’s persona, right? Or just help
Alison Bruhn 12:29
them bring it out exactly that most definitely. Yeah. And that’s really, really fun when someone has kind of lost their way and not feeling so highly about themselves. And we get to that moment where there’s some particular jacket or something that we try that you can just see their face change and you see them go
Julia Chebotar 12:49
there I am. Do you guys have like how are you guys styling right now with COVID? Do you do like zooms? Do you go into person with like masks on? Like, how how, what’s the level of COVID styling? Right, it’s
Alison Bruhn 13:02
been kind of crazy. So it down in Alabama, I have gone to clients that I’ve had for a long time, one on one with masks, social distancing, basically across the room, I already know their wardrobes, you know, we’re just a lot of times were clearing out the closets. And they just try on different things. And we talked about what should stay and go and, and that kind of thing. And I don’t have to get near their face at all, you know, we both have on a mass and so on. And now the fun thing is my Ultra clap clients have already had both shots. I’ve had my first I’m getting my second one tomorrow.
Julia Chebotar 13:38
I’m getting mine on Sunday.
Alison Bruhn 13:39
Awesome. So you know that I’m still super vigilant, but also and also tons people like I’ve already had it everybody in our families had it. But most people you know, when you walk in the door, you have to be the one to have the mask on. And then they’re like, Oh, I’m so glad you’re wearing the mask which of course of course I would be wearing the mask but it kind of gives them permission to not feel over zealous if they wear their mask. But, um, today I was at a bridal salon sitting in an office with the owner and she was we were both in our masks. She’s already had both of her shot so we were pretty far apart and then we were facetiming a mother and a grandmother of a grad in another city. I’m helping them figure out colors and dress styles and everything.
Julia Chebotar 14:27
I love how we’ve all been able to pivot
Alison Bruhn 14:29
right i mean it’s so easy to work with someone in California from my desk you know, it’s just great. I really miss our live events so you do you
Julia Chebotar 14:36
I know Yeah, I miss all your guys’s Fashion Week events and posting and going to all of that I was gonna ask if your favorite fashion designer stylist and why but I’m sure you guys have a lot but before I asked that actually want to know like, how is it styling someone like you guys are not just a stylist but you’re also like their motivators your you kind of they’re like cheerleaders, because what if someone Like, unhappy with their body shape or like insecure in their own skin, like you guys are there to kind of boost their morale and make them feel pretty and proud and special,
Alison Bruhn 15:12
what happened during COVID, especially, especially, you know, here’s Delia in her little apartment in New York, like you were joking. And she decided, you know, we just knew people were hurting. So the next thing I know, she’s doing karaoke, you know, by herself on YouTube to cheer people up and doing all these different things. And then all these people started contacting us about, you’re really keeping me going, we just realized that people were hurting, and they really needed, we have really kind of grown that part of our business as far as like, talking to mental health experts and addressing, you know, mental issues, because I did realize, once I started doing what I was doing, and I thought I was gonna really do very much enjoy solving the problems that women have with their bodies, and you know, get dressed everything. But the bigger deal is instilling self confidence. And then, so through the style that Bond’s us, what we’re doing now is we’re really trying to build this community of people. And the latest group that Delia has introduced me to, that we’re really excited about, as people with disabilities, there’s a term called adaptive fashion. And you know, you don’t even really think about it, unless you are, or you have someone close to who has a disability, then you start realizing, well, there’s no clothes, there’s no stylish clothes. for them. It’s very, it’s exhausting what they have to do, just to get ready for their day compared to what a lot of people’s starting point is, as they have said, and so little things like you know, all their clothes look like a hospital, where hospital gowns and things like that, and that doesn’t make them feel good. They’re interested in style, just like the rest of us. So we’ve been learning a lot about that community and how all these cool things you can do pants have Velcro up the side, just there’s just so many cool things there. And different people with you know, our audience, we wanted to be very diverse. So different skin type, we can always speak to our skin type and what lotions or moistures might work for us. So, you know, now through this COVID situation, we have all these new friends globally. So Delia reached out to them to talk about what are your products that you like, with with your scan, you know, and, and things like that. So as much as we want people to live a stylish and fearless life. And so that’s really anything we can do to lift someone up to help them feel empowered. And I’ve also learned in the process to check in with myself and say, you’re helping all these other women. What about you, and you know, learning to really look inward to and that’s beautiful.
Julia Chebotar 17:51
I love it.
Alison Bruhn 17:52
Yeah, it’s difficult. It’s, you know, it’s work, but it’s so rewarding.
Julia Chebotar 17:56
I missed your guys’s little videos of like, this designer is up and coming. And they have this like, Is there a designer that you’re excited about for spring or like, not even a designer but like a style that’s going to be really popular this spring, maybe when everybody’s vaccinated, and we have herd immunity and we’re allowed out Finally, Is there like a look that we should be aspiring to this spring 21 trends,
Delia Folk 18:22
we’ve got brights in terms of colors, bright pastels, and neutrals. And then definitely cut outs, which are super fun, and they can either be sexy and super overt or they can be a little bit more subtle. There are off the shoulder so or big shoulders, puffy sleeves and things like that. with jeans, it’s less about skinny jeans and more about the high waisted flair, the 70s look or a little bit more boyfriend and then also some distressed in there. And then florals Of course for spraying well seem to always be there.
Alison Bruhn 19:04
Yeah, I think what we’re going to be seeing, it’s gonna be interesting is is going you know, before right before COVID it was all about sequence and dressing up and maximalism and everything. And then boom that got shut down and everybody ran inside and grab their sweats and their hoodies and hid and needed all this comfort and now people want to get back out again, I think it’s gonna be this epic summer and fall, you know if we can keep going?
Julia Chebotar 19:28
I think so too. Because everything so far has been like athleisure
Alison Bruhn 19:33
right? And so I think there’s gonna be a melding of that with more, you know, going out clothes, I think people aren’t going to want to give up their comfort but they’re going to want more structure and they are going to want to put on fun, some dresses and be out and about and then they’re showing pants suits for fall but they’re just made in a more relaxed way and things will ease back into it but I’m hoping people will be easing out their sweat pants because you just feel better about yourself when you’re not, you know when you’re a little bit more put together.
Julia Chebotar 20:04
I agree. Okay, so if you guys had to choose one celebrities closet to shop in, who would it be and why?
Alison Bruhn 20:11
And that’s funny. She didn’t watch TV.
Delia Folk 20:14
I mean, probably sjp I read, or I watched for the first time, Sex in the City over COVID
Alison Bruhn 20:21
Doesn’t watch TV she never had.
Julia Chebotar 20:23
Wait, you just watched it for the first time. How are you a millennial woman in New York?
Delia Folk 20:29
No, because we were so young when it came out. And then I just never watched it somehow.
Alison Bruhn 20:35
Right. I didn’t watch it either. And also day I think with you, it’d be Lauren Santa Domingo, too, right.
Julia Chebotar 20:40
We were really young when he came out. But my mom would let me watch it with her. She can be she’s celebrity
Alison Bruhn 20:45
the fashion world. She started moda opera and I would want to work with Meredith coupe and where Michelle Obama’s wardrobe
Julia Chebotar 20:52
that were that’s, that’s Yes, she’s definitely a celebrity.
Alison Bruhn 20:56
Especially last year, when she did her becoming tour. Oh my god, those clothes were over the top. They were so great.
Julia Chebotar 21:03
I agree with all of those. I said, this is gonna sound terrible, but not actually not terrible. But I am obsessed with anything that Haley Bieber wears. Well,
Alison Bruhn 21:13
yeah. And you can also just wear your cut out. You can just cut up all your sweats and wear Um,
Delia Folk 21:19
no, I mean, I don’t have the body to pull that off.
Julia Chebotar 21:22
No, but I love it. I live for it. Yeah, I won’t wear it. But I love it. What trends? Do you want to disappear forever?
Delia Folk 21:31
sweat pants streetstyle.
Julia Chebotar 21:33
You hate streets? I love streetwear. Well, I
Delia Folk 21:35
mean, the thing we we read a book, and we have Pauline brown on our podcast. And she said she was talking about the choice to not get dressed, that is also a choice. So these people, the thing that really bothers me is with the tech entrepreneurs, and they think they’re so fabulous, whether they’re going to act like that or not, that they would wear that to speak at a conference, for example, is I feel like it’s just not respectful to themselves or others.
Julia Chebotar 22:05
I don’t disagree with that. I feel like you do need to look protect professional in certain situations.
Alison Bruhn 22:09
Yeah, and a little bit more grown up. But also, I think the street wear thing to think about the street wear is like Virgil abloh said, you can only design so many sweaters. I mean, you know, these designers don’t love that. They don’t love that. And sneakers. I mean, sneakers are so much fun. And I’m glad they’re a thing. But I also think if you really want to talk about fashion as art, there’s other things you can do and you know, in creative ways, even if it’s just like, I mean going to vintage shops and putting together very cool creative looks or secondhand stores vintage stuff. Sometimes it’s super expensive, but you know getting a little more creative with your wardrobe. So
Julia Chebotar 22:48
because the audience can’t see you guys, I just need to give them a bit of a description. These are two lovely Southern Belles, who when I met them first we’re wearing like full lashes and six inch heels to a workshop and looked fabulous at all times. So for them sweat pants is not okay. Yeah, it’s
Alison Bruhn 23:09
great. It is so great. But it’s also you know, you Everyone knows this is true today, because I was going to meet with, you know, at the bridal salon with the family, people get married, dressed up and walked in the kitchen and my husband’s like, wow, where are you going? He was like, well, these are just normal clothes.
Julia Chebotar 23:29
We forgot what those are.
Alison Bruhn 23:31
You know how it is when you get dressed up for lip gloss. You know, God, you are so stunning. With your hair and everything. You know, when you put on you get dressed like that people gonna be like, wow, what Where are you going?
Julia Chebotar 23:43
You know? Yeah, it definitely like boosts your morale. 100%
Alison Bruhn 23:47
Julia Chebotar 23:48
If you guys could travel back in time to any one fashion era. What would it be? Are you gonna say bridgerton I have a feeling one of you guys is gonna say
no, no, I’m saying oh, I’m definitely a sound raw 70s
Julia Chebotar 24:03
Oh, like Studio 54
Yeah, and let’s just go more, you know, the flare jeans and oversized sunglasses and the big sunglasses in that on you know, like a an area’s scarf wrapped around your head in a way that is more with the big sunglasses just all that cool stuff. And then the end a little mini skirts that were the Twiggy kind of things and I do love that Allah that that keeps coming back. That’s so I think it’s very sexy. Delia can go for the Hollywood you know glamour just the glam to the max with the long dress and some big feather boa and you know she could do all the
Julia Chebotar 24:41
heavy you guys watch Bridgerton Oh, yes, please. I had I felt like it was like your vibes like I could see like the floral the very like feminine.
Delia Folk 24:50
Oh yeah, I can do that. But it was don’t watch it with your parents because they just have sex the entire
Julia Chebotar 24:56
Oh, I know it was soft, soft port. It really I was I was like,
Alison Bruhn 25:01
oh my god. Yeah, it was so crazy, because it was such like g rated show. To the point where, you know, it was almost corny.
Julia Chebotar 25:08
Yeah. But then it was like massive sex.
Alison Bruhn 25:12
Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. I was like What is happening?
Julia Chebotar 25:16
So I always end the podcast with a question. And I’m spraying this I spring it on everyone. So think on your feet, but bring it on. If this was your last day on earth, and you could eat whatever you wanted from anywhere you wanted. What would it be? appetizer entree dessert, and you don’t have to worry about calories. Or you know, it could be anywhere in the world. Well,
it would probably out eat part of it, maybe in Paris, and then No, no, no, at column door and Tim Paul de vos and France and then I would hop over to Italy. Well, it wouldn’t really matter, whatever they were having.
Julia Chebotar 25:52
That’s okay, too.
Alison Bruhn 25:53
I mean, that’s like my favorite restaurant in the world is, you know, calm door. So anything. You know, in France, it’s a little bit tricky, because I don’t like origami, but pretty much anything else. And then in Italy, it would be some kind of, you know, fabulous. Pasta, and bruschetta. And
Julia Chebotar 26:12
what about is there like one dessert that you want to be your last dessert?
Alison Bruhn 26:17
I was trying to think of some dessert and in New York, I mean, there’s so many Oh, and yeah, just so it would have to have chocolate in it. Lots and lots of chocolate.
Julia Chebotar 26:26
What about you, Delia,
Delia Folk 26:27
So I’ll go to Florence, Italy, where I studied abroad and I guess I’ll have a capris a salad for the appetizer, and then boost a pizza. There was this adorable boy but of course he’s a very fabulous looking Italian so I’m sure he was a complete ladies man. And then but vegetarian pizza Of course. tenza car may end in the desert. Okay, let’s say from Georgia, our job isn’t led toward our shop in France when they keep bringing the best desserts or when like you’ve had this very, very big meal. And then you have a dessert that’s delicious. Something with chocolate and then they keep bringing like oh, now it’s time for the like macaroni tray and now multi dessert situation.
Julia Chebotar 27:14
Yeah, yeah. I love it. So mine would be like some sort of shellfish situation in like, like fresh oysters or something like fresh lobster somewhere on the East Coast, then it would be like a classic chicken parm. And then my dessert would be an avocado, which is like an allergen of vanilla, gelato and espresso and I would die a happy person.
Alison Bruhn 27:39
I know we need to have all that together. We need to have a bigger tank.
Julia Chebotar 27:42
I know. Well, ladies, thank you so much for being on. Can you please tell the audience where they can find you where they can follow you where they can listen to you all of the things?
Yes. So go to The Style That Binds Us website and the links to our podcast, YouTube channel, social media, newsletter, all of those things. Everything is under the style that binds us and if you join us you can live your most stylish and fearless life for love it.
Julia Chebotar 28:15
Thank you so much for listening guys. And remember to follow the style that binds us and to follow Health Chef Julia on Instagram, and please subscribe to the podcast.