A MORNING STORY: ALISON BESHAI

Alison Beshai is a name that seems to pop up everywhere I turn. When I finally met her for the first time in person I was absolutely racking my brain because I was so certain we must have met before. It's no wonder though, because she has her hand in many, many great things happening here in the D.C. creative community—and the city in general. She's the founder of Beshai Styling Group, Dinner Curated, and Locale Workspace/Locale Workroom plus she consults with businesses in a range of categories from fashion to real estate. We met up with Alison recently at Locale Workroom for some coffee and puppy time and general admiration of this inspiring space she has created for our community.


 
 

The first time Alison appeared on my radar was through her event series, Dinner Curated. It's hard to miss all the photos that pour out of these beautiful and eclectic dinners if you live in D.C. I'd also passed by Locale Workspace on occasion, but I never connected the dots back to Alison until I heard her speak on a panel last fall. As a fellow creative and entrepreneur, one of the things I find so inspiring is how willing she is to pursue so many ideas—and that she does so without anything feeling forced or out of place. Each business leads naturally into the next and when you step back to see the complete picture, it all makes sense. Alison is helping others live a well-designed life, while also fostering a deeper sense of community and connection: from the clothes we wear to the places we work and the meals we share.  Here's more from our visit with Alison...

 

On routines (and lack thereof)...

Every day for me is different, I typically work on a combination of projects in one day and since I am fully self-employed and remote, I can make my own schedule and work from different locations. I tend to work in waves: hours at a time, days at a time or weeks at a time, then not at all for about the same length.

I am not big on daily routines except for my mornings. Every day I make tea, cook breakfast, and make coffee at home before going anywhere or doing any work. It's almost meditative for me. After the morning routine, the rest of the day is fair game for literally anything, nothing else is consistent. I am constantly listening to music while working, cooking, or doing pretty much anything; it helps me focus to have background noise.

On using data and design for social change...

In addition to all of the things I am constantly doing for the styling group, Locale, and the real estate projects I'm consulting on, I am currently partnering on something I'm super excited about. It's a capsule collection of clothing with embroidery and beading that reflects data points. The data points will represent stats such as black deaths by police brutality, the rise of homelessness in DC and the concept of "food deserts" in the city. It will be a super limited run and be releasing in Spring around Memorial Day, all of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

On simplifying and what's in her bag...

I have gradually been minimizing my life: I have streamlined my wardrobe and stopped wearing makeup all in the last two years so what I carry in my bag is fairly minimal as well. I always carry a notebook because I have to write everything down or I will forget it because my mind is constantly moving a mile a minute. I love Appointed because of their aesthetic and gender neutrality, plus they're local. Other things I carry are: my wallet, cell phone, business cards, sun glasses and occasionally my marble one-hitter for legal smoking purposes. While I don't wear makeup, I do love a hydrating mist, the one pictured is from Be Clean Shop, also local.

Alison is carrying the Capucine Daypack in matte black.

Photos by Laura Metzler.

Carolyn Misterek