Summer Friday with Kalen of Upstate


We talked with New York-based prop stylist, designer, and artist Kalen Kaminski, the founder of one of our favorite brands, Upstate! Known for their naturally hand-dyed accessories and easy-fitting clothing, perfect for throwing in a bag and heading upstate [hence the name].

We checked in with Kalen to learn more about her Summer routine and essentials.

Book(s) on your Summer Reading Bookshelf
So you want to talk about race, the bluest eye, heartburn, such a good age

Songs on your Summer Soundtrack
Only child, Tierra wack. Nomaliza, Lette Mbulul. Stay high brittney Howard. Mirror ball, Taylor swift. Eccymose, Palatine. 3am Haim.

Favorite Anti-Racist Resources
Rachel Cargle- Do the world. Ibram X Kendi. Layla Saad. @antiracismdaily

What has anti-racism work looked like you?
Coming to terms with my white entitlement and white fragility. Unlearning and understanding how deeply rooted systemic racism is in this country. Demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery and every Black person who has been wrongfully and unjust fully murdered by the hands of the police and white people. Protesting and going to vigils. Donating a percentage of our companies profits to Black Women’s Blueprint, the Loveland foundation, G.L.I.T.S Inc., The Okra Project.

When not social distancing, favorite Summer travel destination?
Italy!

Go-to Summer Recipe
Grilled salmon with a cold crunchy cucumber salad on top (sliced cucumbers, dill, Greek yogurt, thinly sliced onion, rice vinegar, salt and pepper)

Go-to Summer Cocktail/Mocktail
La Gritona tequila on the rocks with fresh lime. orange wine.

Summer Beauty/Skincare Essentials
I don’t use much. I’ve deeply missed my facials at Carrie Lindsey in Brooklyn. It was always a great way to reset my skin. I use a gentle cleanser and true botanical face oil.

Go-to Poplar product for Summer
Apothecanna extra strength body spray for cramps and soreness after running!

Summer Cannabis Rituals
Im a one hit wonder. Love smoking a joint at the campfire!

Thing you’re missing most in this post-COVID Summer
The list is too long 😭 dance parties, concerts, restaurants, museums, yoga classes.

Thing surprising you most about this post-COVID Summer
Covid helped strain out my solid friends vs acquaintances who I may have given too much time to.

Favorite Summer activity to get your heart rate up
I started running during covid. Now I’m addicted. Dance party.