On May 16, 2017 Grace A. Capobianco and Eva Maria Troester of Downtown Magazine participated in the Mindful Luxury Salon, a salon-style event organized by Aleksandra Lacka, founder of Insights Studio, a brand strategy consulting agency for emerging luxury brands.

Insights Studio SalonThe goal of the event was to bring together the creators of the up-and-coming luxury brands and seasoned business women as well as thought leaders in the luxury space to discuss and experience what it means to create mindful luxury brands and experiences. It was an intimate gathering limited to twenty four guests, in a beautiful setting of the Tamarind Restaurant in TriBeCa.

The event itself was an experiential journey filled with sensual experiences and deep conversations about the meaning of luxury and ways brands can best engage with their audiences.

“Today’s luxury brands need to connect with their audiences on a deeply personal level. Ultimately, brand’s goal should be to occupy space in people’s hearts. That can only be achieved through high-touch transformational experiences and deeper values that are etched in brand’s DNA,” emphasized Aleksandra Lacka of Insights Studio.

“The entrepreneurs who presented at today’s event demonstrated that it is possible to create such deep connections through insight-driven, high-touch personalized online and offline experiences. Luxury in the digital age can still be exclusive and deeply personal,” she added.

Aleksandra Lacka and Marissa Bethoney 

The day started with a morning energy ritual and presentation by Marissa Bethoney, the founder of Precious Skin Elixirs, a skincare line that incorporates botanicals and gemstones.

“With Insights Studio’s help, we were able to leverage very basic, low-cost digital media to create a highly engaging, experiential funnel for our audience,” said Bethoney adding that Precious Skin Elixirs is a holistic lifestyle brand that goes beyond just skincare, “It is about nourishing your beauty, mind and spirit from the inside out.”

Grace A. Capobianco

Downtown Magazine’s Grace A. Capobianco and Eva Maria Troester gave a heartfelt keynote presentation followed by a conversation. Capobianco shared her inspiring story of how she started the magazine and demonstrated that Downtown Magazine truly connects with the heart and spirit of Downtown Manhattan.

“As a magazine, we are there on the ground immersed in all things downtown. Not only covering the glamorous fashion events but also being actively involved with the downtown community, whether it is at community fairs, charity events or in our parks and recreational areas. We are at the center of this incredibly resilient community that was so profoundly affected by 9/11 and the hurricane Sandy. It has now flourished and again is becoming the heartbeat of our city,” said Capobianco, CEO and publisher of the magazine.

“Downtown Magazine is like no other luxury publication” noted Lacka and continued, “With its impeccable editorial and dedication to Downtown people and communities, it truly exemplifies a multi-dimensional way to connect with the hearts of the affluent audience.”

Other presenters included Jean-Marc Berne, the author of The Heart-Voice Connection, who coaches brands and individuals on how to infuse emotion in their voice; a Nepal Tea tasting with its founder Nishchal Banskota, a third-generation tea farm owner from Nepal; book discussion with Gabriella Contestabile, the author of The Artisan Star and the highly anticipated upcoming book Smarts, Sass and Stilettos and owner of Su Misura Journeys, custom curated journeys designed to discover and experience the high-quality artisanship of Florence.

Speaker team (from left to right): Nishchal Banskota, Jean-Marc Berne, Aleksandra Lacka, Alexandra Greenawalt, Marissa Bethoney, Dana Bronfman, Gabriella Contestabile. 

In the afternoon, guests listened and participated in a constructive conversation between Alexandra Greenawalt, a personal stylist in Manhattan and Dana Bronfman, the award-winning fine jewelry designer, the founder of Dana Bronfman, who recently opened her first showroom in Manhattan’s Diamond District. Her latest campaign ‘Create a story that’s uniquely yours’ exemplifies her highly personalized approach to designing and marketing of her pieces.

Reflecting on the event, Dana Bronfman remarked “I learned so much from the conversations we had and left the event inspired, rejuvenated, with new friends, and with a feeling of belonging to a community of some of the world’s brightest socially conscious entrepreneurs.”

Notable guests at the event included Angela Mariani and Marissa Nesta of C&M Media PR, Jill Cohen of the International Advertising Association, Priya Israni, the founder of India Heritage Center, Mary Kate Naatus and Chanaz Gargouri of St Peter’s University School of Business.

The event concluded with a sound meditation experience facilitated by an acclaimed musician, Basia Blonska, the founder of Basia Blonska Sound, who uses her unique musical skills and training to create tranquil healing soundscapes.

Sound meditation experience created by Basia Blonska

The event would not have happened without the vision co-created and curated by Monika Broz of Monika Broz Photography, a globally renowned branding photographer, long-time collaborator of the Insights Studio. Monika Broz truly captured the essence and the dynamics of the event in her beautifully unique photography. She is now working on creating another salon event in Europe along with custom designed Visual Branding Immersion in Krakow, Poland. Additionally, video footage of the event was captured by James Fischer, well-known for his documentary work on entrepreneur-focused initiatives.

The event received much interest from the entrepreneurial community and from established luxury brands. Future Mindful Luxury Salons are planned to be held in the Hamptons, NY; Miami, FL; Krakow, Poland; Florence, Italy and of course downtown NYC. For more information, sponsorship and participation opportunities email info@insights-studio.com.

Photography by Monika Broz

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