The accessories brand owner who makes the schlep locally chic lets us rifle through her bags
1 Printed scarf: “These are hand-painted by local artist Paulina Ortega. I layer them over outfits.”
2 Perfume: “This is actually my dad’s perfume. It’s refreshing, and it works in every climate. It’s a boutique brand too — so it ensures I won’t smell like everyone else.”
3 Lip balm: “Lip protection is important. Also, my friend once told me that putting a little bit of flavored balm on the lips can help stave off hunger. It works sometimes, but I’d still rather have a snack.”
4 Dry shampoo: “I’m fixated on how my hair smells. It picks up smells easily, so this is a must.”
5 AirPods: “I use them all the time, especially when I’m in transit.”
6 Lipstick: “I’m not the biggest lipstick person, but I think this one works great.”
7 Crystals: “I’ve really gotten into crystals and this set offers harmony, protection and security.”
8 Sunglasses: “I got this pair at a vintage store in Melbourne. They look like something you’d see in Blade Runner, and that’s why I got them.”
9 Film camera: “I still like film — there’s always something in the developed print that surprises you. Film’s not dead.”
. . .
Business talk with Cara
How did HaloHalo begin?
Cara: As a student at Parsons School of Design in New York, I found myself consumed with the idea of making chic, wearable items with woven and colored banig (handwoven mats). I launched HaloHalo while on a summer break from school in 2013.
Why start the brand?
Cara: The point was to create items with unlikely, non-obvious materials — and still keep the functionality of everyday use. It’s fun surprising people with deceptively small designs — designs that don’t compromise on comfort or aesthetic.
What’s your design philosophy?
Cara: We’re focused on incorporating the banig into our pieces; each design begins with a good, solid shape. I don’t believe in making anything that I wouldn’t use myself.
What lies ahead?
Cara: From working on personal accessories, I’ve ventured into homeware. I’m looking to experiment with other materials, to see what works with our core shapes.
This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of Smile magazine.