Entry Two - 03.11.21 - Isla Risa in The Big Apple

As I sit here in November 2021, just over one year since Isla Risa launched, I think back on all the incredible people we have had the chance to meet (or Zoom) with in that time. It's through those connections (mainly via's a love/hate relationship isn't it?!) that we have found ourselves being stocked across the globe, and how the wonderful Kerrin from Cool And Thoughtful came to find us. 

When we first Zoomed all those months ago, we spent ages talking about what Cool And Thoughtful meant and how clearly it aligned with the ethos of Isla Risa. So when I thought about putting together a blog highlighting the people we have collaborated with, I thought where better to start than Kerrin and her brilliant brand. 

Who are you and how did you come to create Cool And Thoughtful?

I’m Kerrin, and as the founder of Cool And Thoughtful, I have been on a “quest” since I was nineteen to bring together the two things I love most in the world: living life in a way that is open-minded and open-hearted, and the world of aesthetics - fashion, design, music - things that look and feel *just so cool.* How can we put the latter in service of the former? How can we use the power of beautiful things to promote a positive, productive way of interacting with each other? These are the questions that keep me up at night -- and have since 2012! Cool And Thoughtful is my answer to those questions, an answer that lives as a brand and a business. 

What is Cool And Thoughtful?

Cool And Thoughtful is a way of being and a lifestyle ethos that means being mindful, empathetic, and focused on solutions. Being Cool And Thoughtful is not about what you believe, but how you interact with other people. We bring this way of being into the world through our print magazine (a limited edition published biannually), our events that teach people how to be Cool And Thoughtful, our own brand pieces, and the concept shop! Here, we also curate other brands and designers who are Cool And Thoughtful, which is arguably my favorite element of all of this. 


What do you look for when choosing brands for your store?

I look for brands that embody elements of the Cool And Thoughtful ethos. What this means is that I seek out brands and designers who embody values that can be applied to any area of life, so they are intangibles like optimism, intentionality, originality, operating in alignment with one’s principles, care, attention to details -- what if you brought the same optimism embodied in a Small Hive to your job? What if you brought the positive spirit that the Isla Risa brand exudes into your relationship or a core friendship? What might be possible? What could open up for you and for the other people involved? This is what Cool And Thoughtful brand curation is all about: finding brands and designers whose values proliferate out to make a positive difference in our daily lives.

What's always in your Isla Risa bag?  

Hair Party! I am head-over-heels obsessed -- Hair Party is a deep conditioning hair treatment formulated by Neil Grupp who, along with being profoundly warm and generous, is a senior stylist at the Suite Caroline Salon (where, for instance, Abbey Lee Kershaw has her color done). We carry Hair Party in the store, and depending on how much you use, you can use it as a light leave-in conditioner for your ends, or a full-on masque treatment in the form of a hair gel. My go-to look is brushed up brows and a slicked bun, so I use it for both. It’s literally my top beauty product! 

Then of course there’s what’s on my Isla Risa -- she is adorned with pins! She’s been rather dressed up lately, as she is currently wearing my favorite vintage crescent moon pin (the same look she wore when I carried her at the shop opening party), but her outfits change too, obviously. 

Which is your favourite Isla Risa bag / colour and why?

Hands down the Small Hive in Burgundy. The sheen on it is absolutely to die for. One of my favorite style tricks is to treat unusual neutrals as essential neutrals. So instead of black and white, try navy, cream, maroon, chocolate. I think it’s just so chic to wear a kind of “alternative” neutral as you would a “traditional” neutral, and so the Burgundy Small Hive is the perfect way to do that!

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