I cannot say how much I have enjoyed the time and process of getting to photograph these 3 beautiful women in jewelry. It was a challenging morning with dumping buckets of rain forcing us to stay indoors for the first portion as well as braving light drizzling rain at our first outdoor location. Luckily though the final location of Double Bluff Beach in Freeland came through with amazing driftwood structures and SUN! Thank you Olav Jules Designs by Cat Sandstrom for having me photograph your vision again this year. Thank you Erin Marie Alexander , Michelle Rose, & Paige Pettibon for being fabulous models and another big thanks to Erin Roussell Makeup and MArden Makeup for lovely makeup and Mary for hair as well.
Here is a bit about the designer Cat Sandstrom:
Born and raised in California, Cat had a heart deeply seeded in Cowgirl fantasies…
‘This is where my passion for designing Southwest style jewelry ignited. I recall as a very young child that as a family, we would travel from California to the Midwest to spend the summers on my grandparents farm. I would spend my time being a Cowgirl to my heart’s desire. On the way, we would stop at all the trading posts, and I would buy either a turquoise ring or a Native American bracelet. I would also select a Native American doll to add to my collection of cherished memories.
Over the course of my lifetime my journey has been well versed. It all started with two years in college for interior decorator but jumped that ship and off I went. I’ve been a diver, postal carrier, skider operator, planted trees, split wood by being flown in by helicopter to remote locations, managed antique and lingerie boutiques, driven tractors, bailed hay, plucked chickens and the list can go on.
Many years passed, yet in the depth of my soul there lived a Cowgirl wanting to express herself through her passion for turquoise, leather and feathers. So I made the decision to follow my heart, I started my jewelry business designing pieces for charities and within two years I’ve been featured in 17 magazines with the first being “Cowboys and Indians”, made three magazine covers (soon to be four). I have met many incredible people along the way from photographers, models, actors, artists, magazine editors, clothing and boot designers, and horse trainers.
Spending my time seeing where my passion could, or would take me. Keeping in mind, I’d always heard; ‘Do what you love and the success will follow’ – So true!
It humbles me to say, I am living the Cowgirl (jewelry designing) dream with Olav Jules designs by Cat Sandstrom. Although I must admit, none of this would have been possible without my adoring husband, Kris and his support and encouragement. I’ve been blessed, and I have so much gratitude to so many others as well.
Olav Jules by Cat Sandstrom is jewelry for women of all ages who know how to express themselves through accessorizing with jewelry. Women with the knowledge that it is not just about the jewelry- it is how you live, it is your dream, and it’s living out your dreams in style.
I was so thrilled to have crossed paths with Shonda Hilton Photography who took my Boho Western Vision and turned it into some amazing images!’
Model: Michelle Rose
Michelle is Cat’s niece who happens to live on Whidbey Island so it was a perfect selection for Cat’s vision. It is so funny how many women I have met through photography that are so similar to me it is frightening and Michelle is no exception. I was so thrilled that we clicked from the beginning which makes photographing this beauty that much easier… I asked her to tell me a few little facts about herself that many would not know and this is what she wrote to me:
‘I was born in Virginia and grew up in the Navy so I’ve lived in Japan, Maryland, Italy and Washington. My dad got me into running in the 6th grade and I was varsity track/xc throughout high school. I just finished school and became a LPN along with having a general AA degree. My ultimate goal is to become a psych nurse who specializes in PTSD with vets.
- I love to travel
- I have been to 15 different countries to date.
- I love working out and doing anything that involves the ocean (kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming you name it)
- I believe chocolate should be its own food group
- I literally eat a slice of cake a day and a plate of nachos
- I wear dresses all summer long and love country music
- My left foot is bigger than my right foot because I broke my right ankle when I was kid.
- I can’t touch my toes and I’m not flexible
- Orcas are my favorite animal and my life goal is to cage dive with great white sharks
Model: Paige Pettibon
I’m from Tacoma WA born and raised. I currently go to school at Tacoma community collage and will graduate in spring with my AA. I plan to get my bachelors in fine arts and receive a teaching certification at the University of Washington Tacoma. I spend my free time perpetually working on painting, drawing, Native bead-work, ceramic, paper crafts and beyond, while listening to NPR podcast. When I finish making a piece of jewelry and will sometimes post the item on Instagram at Plain_to_Sea. Plain to Sea is my small business that reflects my Native American (Confederated Salish kootinae tribe of flathead reservation) and African heritage. I was just accepted to work at Chief Leschi schools as a para educator which I’m super excited about.
Model: Erin Marie Alexander