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Chic Traveler:  Jessie Freschl  

Occupation:  Personal Stylist

Hometown:  NYC

Jessie Freschl hails from a rich lineage of fashionable entrepreneurs, most notably her mother, with whom she ran the operations of her family’s high-end clothing boutique, Gigi of Mequon, in Milwaukee, WI.  As a buyer for contemporary and designer apparel, she has had ample experience working closely with designers to identify what specific trends and styles work for the consumer.  Jessie now brings her expertise to the private sector with her style service FreschStyle, working closely with her clients to cultivate a fashion profile that fits their budget and adapts to their already developed personal style.  In September of 2012, FreschStyle introduced its first ever charity initiative, Covet Closet, aiming to help those in need by cleaning out coveted closets in NYC and selling those clothes for charity.

Dream destination?

Mysore, India

What’s always inside your carry on?

Water, almonds, Aquafor, book I’m currently reading, magazines, music.

What’s on your plane play list?

I usually try and catch up on a good read aboard a plane, so good jazz is a must.  Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” is a favorite.

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?

If without my children, hands down:   sleeping in.

The Stephanie Johnson bag / bags that always make the trip? 

The Geneva Black Alex Sparkle Cosmetic Bag.  It doubles as a small clutch for the night.

Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?

I always unpack my suitcase down to the cosmetic brushes in a glass and I set up my space to make it more lived in.  I often bring a small candle as well – Diptyque’s “Figuier” is a personal favorite.

Is there a particular destination that inspires your creativity?

Coming from NYC I never fall short for inspiration in fashion.  So I would have to say escaping to a quiet tranquil place is good for me to decompress and feel renewed.  My last trip to Aspen was so rejuvenating.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited?  Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?

Nice.  I spent some time there in college and loved how the women dressed.  It was simple elegance that seemed so effortless and timeless.

Any travel misadventures you’d like to share? 

Never eat a falafel from a street vendor in Dahab, Egypt followed by a night car ride through the desert to Cairo.

If you were introducing a world traveling friend to SJ for the first time, what’s the first piece you’d recommend they buy?

Oh, that is hard one.  I would probably point her to the Mini Pouch.  I have used mine for cosmetics, as a credit card holder, a jewelry case, and for work-related items like measuring tape, pens, and labels.

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

An eye mask to sleep in when without my children.   🙂

What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as a gift?

I love giving a gift in a trio set.  That is how I was first introduced to the pieces.  I would give an ML Traveler, a Medium Pouch, and a Mini Pouch in complimentary colors, but different fabrics.


Favorite travel ritual or souvenir: (Do you always visit a local book shop?  Hunt down the best cappuccino?  Pick up a tree ornament depicting your destination?)

I love to go into small boutiques and see their offerings.  I grew up working closely with my Mom in our family’s luxury boutique, Gigi of Mequon, in Wisconsin.  So I love walking around and finding like stores in other cities of the world.

Your personal travel style: (Do you like a luxury resort?  A private hideaway?  Do you prefer to lie on the beach?  Explore the countryside?)

I like destinations that offer a bit of relaxation followed by an adventure.  For example, for my honeymoon almost a decade ago, we hiked around an active volcano for a few days and then followed up at an incredible resort that overlooked the ocean in Costa Rica.

The one thing that you cannot leave home without?

A big bottle of water, sunscreen, and my iPhone.

Your happy place / Favorite travel destination?

Warm sandy beaches.

How do you pack for a trip? (Are you a list maker? Do you pack in outfits? Throw caution to the wind and shop when you arrive?)

I pack outfits and try and reuse items differently throughout the trip and of course pack less than more to save room for a few fun purchases to bring home.

Favorite pre-travel or travel-friendly beauty routine?

A manicure and pedicure the day before I head out if time allows.

Go-to luggage brand?

My suitcases are Swiss.  LeSportsac makes great nylon totes.

Checked bag or carry-on?

Carry on alone, checked with kids.

Favorite Airport?  Why?

Zurich, Switzerland.  It is so peaceful and pretty.

On your reading list? 

Currently reading “David and Goliath.”  Up next, “This is Where I Leave You.”

Any tips for breezing through airport security?

If you have children find the line for families, or speak with a security guard.  You can usually always bypass long lines.  Don’t wear much jewelry and keep your outfit easy, down to the shoes.

Window or aisle?


How often do you fly? 

Every other month or so.

Go-to flying ‘uniform?’ 

Comfy jeans, tank, long sleeve shirt, sweater, easy shoes.

Any tips that make frequent travel more efficient?

Try to plan ahead and breathe.



I’ve been hanging at home this winter catching up on the latest Ina Garten recipes but couldn’t resist a trip out west with friends to ski.  I’m an Aspen girl but jumped at the chance to give Utah a try.  They say Deer Valley is for the pampered set so my expectations were high.  After five days of comparing every last detail to Aspen/Snowmass, I’m pretty sure my traveling companions wanted to throw me off the high speed quad.  Truth is:  it took me about five days to really appreciate what Deer Valley has to offer.


We rented an amazing townhouse at the base of the mountain.  We shared with friends, cooking most dinners at home with a glass of wine in hand, a fire roaring and children underfoot.  Wearing my pjs and reading by the light of the fire is my ski trip fantasy.

I checked out The Montage, The St. Regis and The Stein Eriksen Lodge.  I would stay at any of these fab resorts.  Ski-in, ski-out, each serves a delicious skiers’ buffet lunch and is nestled into the mountain.  As a rule, Deer Valley is more accessible than Aspen via direct flights into Salt Lake City and therefore makes it a perfect weekend destination.  Despite a great kids ski school and a family friendly reputation, DV felt more like a lovers’ long weekend retreat.  Any of these hotels will do the trick.


Fireside Dining was worth the hype but the accompanying optional sleigh ride wasn’t.  If it’s a sleigh ride you want, try Sun Valley or Aspen as this short ten minute ride around the parking lot will likely disappoint.  The dining, however, was superb.  Imagine a starter course of raclette cheese melted by an open fire with cornichon, fruit and charcuterie.  Followed by short ribs, trout, lamb and rosti potatoes. The fondue dessert came three ways:  dark chocolate, white chocolate Grand Marnier, and caramel with a buffet of fruit and cakes to dip.

Although the service should have been better at this Four Diamond restaurant, the burger was one of the best I’ve had at the Goldener Hirsch.  A favorite for fondue and a busy evening spot, try a relaxing lunch between runs on Bald Eagle Mountain.  You will feel as if you’ve been transported to an Austrian village no matter what you order.


Pop into the St. Regis après ski for quite possibly the best hot chocolate bar EVER.  I think the secret is in the whipped cream.  And did I mention it’s free?


Well, ski, of course!  Deer Valley has the requisite ski valet on mountain and great dining options, but what makes this mountain special is the fact they groom nearly 100% of their terrain nightly.  Die hards will argue that the snow is drier in Utah than Colorado and they may have a point.  Deer Valley also doesn’t allow snow boarders on mountain.


No post about DV would be complete without including a little plug for one of our fave SJ retailers, Splendor, located at the Redstone Town Center in Park City.  A cozy apothecary stocking high-end beauty products and boasting a skin bar offering a full menu of treatments, Splendor has been carrying Stephanie Johnson products for years, and is a must-stop if you ever find yourself in Park City!


All of the above-mentioned Deer Valley luxury resorts have great spa options, so indulge in a massage after a day on the bumps.

Deer Valley had me wanting for Snowmass’ wide slopes, mountain maps on every chairlift, and the temperature display at every chair download.  However missed these small perks were, I still would hop the four hour flight to SLC for a weekend of guaranteed groomed trails and a greater likelihood of snow. After all it’s about the skiing, right?


Chic Traveler:  Hillary Thomas

Occupation:  Product and Interior Designer

Hometown:  Los Angeles

Hillary Thomas is a Los Angeles-based interior designer (with her own store and products to boot) whose aesthetic has been described as eclectic, multicultural and layered.  Hillary spends a good bit of her time crisscrossing the country and world over in search of one-of-a-kind objects for her store and clients, celebrating life, and most importantly, inspiration.

Dream destination?  The Maldives.

What’s always inside your carry on?  My iPad, By Terry lip gloss, travel pack of Wet Ones and I’m good to go for hours!

What’s on your plane play list?  Dave Matthews, Coldplay, U2 and Rihanna.

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?   Peanut M&M’s.  Just seeing that yellow pack makes my mouth water!

The Stephanie Johnson bag / bags that always make the trip?  My Stephanie Johnson Lima Pink iPad Case.  By far the best iPad case I’ve come across . . . very, very chic.

Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?  My Gasparilla candle.  I designed the fragrance to smell like a hot summer night in Florida, so it makes me feel at home instantly.  I also keep tons of pictures of my family on my iPad so I can tick through when I’m feeling lonesome.

Is there a particular destination that inspires your creativity?  Any time I visit a place for the first time, I find the creative juices flow.  I’m so inspired by the sights, smells, tastes and visual feast of any place new.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited?  Always Paris.  The women in Paris and St. Barts ooze effortless style.  It’s inspiring and breathtaking.

If you were introducing a world traveling friend to SJ for the first time, what’s the first piece you’d recommend they buy?  The Mini Pouch.  It corrals all sorts of things in the most genius way.  I keep one for phone accessories, one for make-up, one for what-nots.  The best!

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?  Her new Aspen iPad case is hot.   It’s gold sequins, people!!!

What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as a gift?  I love to get 2 or 3 sizes of matching flat pouches.  They are fabulous for organizing, but don’t underestimate them for a smashing evening bag.

Favorite travel ritual or souvenir?  I’m on an eternal quest for the world’s most perfect fish taco, so I try that whenever, wherever I am.  I also collect elephants from all over the world.  They are good luck, so I figured you can never get enough of that.

Your personal travel style?  I love an easy caftan that can go from the beach to dinner.  Just add heels, a cashmere wrap and a Stephanie Johnson bag and you are set!

Do you like a luxury resort?  Eden Rock Hotel in St. Barts.  It takes you right back to an era when Slim Aarons was snapping pictures and everyone “dressed” for dinner.

The one thing that you cannot leave home without?  My iPhone, but then, who can?!

Your happy place / Favorite travel destination?  Aspen and Martha’s Vineyard.

Favorite pre-travel or travel-friendly beauty routine?  I always get a mani/pedi and a good blow dry before a trip.

First drink in the air:  H2O, champagne or OJ?  H20 & Canada Dry Ginger Ale.

Go-to luggage brand?  T. Anthony & Swiss Army – tried and true.

Checked bag or carry on?  I aspire to carry-on, but never end up pulling that off!

On your reading list:  Gone Girl.  It captures our generation perfectly.

Favorite in-flight pastime?  Watching movies and catching up on episodes of my favorite TV shows.  It’s like free time!

Current favorite getaway?  Napa Valley.

Any tips for breezing through airport security?  No belt or bulky jewelry and ballet flats.

Window or aisle?  Aisle.

How often do you fly?  Lately every two weeks.

Go-to flying ‘uniform?’  J Brand jeans, James Perse T-shirt, Lanvin ballet flats and a cozy cashmere long wrap around sweater.

Any tips that make frequent travel more efficient?  Hydrate, moisturize, repeat.

Business or economy?  HELLO?!  Business!


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