Where It All Began - Italy 2013

How did a love of world travel, shopping for one-of-a-kind accessories and the threat of an empty-nest converge?

I was a little late to the whole international travel thing. I had been a single parent raising an awesome kid, Skylar - Sky for short, in Chicago until a couple of years ago when she went off to the University of Wisconsin - Madison to study Business - Marketing.

Long before she graduated from high school with her 5.0 GPA (shameless mommy plug,) I decided to venture out into the world to see more of its “offerings.” I had her at 21, so I had spent my entire adult life, at that point, as a parent. I knew who I was as a mom, but it was time to figure out what kind of woman I wanted to become.

I found myself getting into "exploration mode." I was so curious about life outside of the United States since we pretty much covered most of the domestic stuff throughout the years together. My first international trip in a while was with my bestie, Jess. She was celebrating her new found freedom from the company we worked for and she'd decided to celebrate by getting out of town. I was like "OMG - you're going where? I'm soooo going with you!" We booked our trip that night to Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, and Florence. I can't really explain it, other than to say that while I was there, I felt like of every part of me was fulfilled (dreamy sigh!) The curiosities I had about life "outside of the US" were many, and that trip met every one of them with the rich history and the culture of my surroundings, and my God, the food! I always said I'm at my happiest when I'm actively learning, so I was in heaven. Continuing education was definitely in effect! Our last leg of that trip was to Florence. It was there that I fell in love with that city, its storybook feel, the history, the shopping, the Duomo, the foothills. It was an instant connection, so much so that when the plane off to head back to Chicago and headed past the foothills, I literally started crying. You read that correctly...

a grown ass woman crying in public, over leaving...a place! 

After I got home, I started to suffer from withdrawal. "Why had I felt such a strong connection to Florence?" I started planning more trips to different places and meeting new friends along the way. I also started shopping, not a lot, just getting my hands on one or two pretty sweet pieces on each trip. Soon enough, my accessory collection started to become well-known for its gorgeous, but "impossible to obtain status." That was unexpected.

I started to wonder if there was a way to turn my love of travel and scoring these one-of-a-kind accessory pieces into a business? I wasn't slowing my role on travel anytime soon. There was a ton of interest, and everyone would be so bummed that they couldn't buy them here. Pair that with the fact that I was soon going to become an empty-nester, and that's how Urbane Sky came to be.

Urbane: Cultured, Worldly, Sophisticated. Sky is a nickname for Skylar. 

Phenomenal education aside, my dream for my daughter is to become Urbane. I need for her to travel, explore and gain perspective not only about who she is as an individual, but how she wants to show up "for the world." She's in school full-time for another couple of years, so she hasn't been able to travel that often as of late. It's been all me happily doing the legwork and holding down the fort.

I was recently in Paris, Florence, and Rome doing some shopping for the store and it was pretty incredible to be back. I scored some new finds and had some crazy experiences that I'm still laughing about. Here’s a view from the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence at dawn, before people started getting out and exploring the city.

It was one thing to be out among all the tourists during the day, but quite another to be riding solo on an early morning stroll at one with your surroundings. Below is me pictured at the Pantheon in Rome.

This post is about where it all began.  We definitely have more adventures to share with you, so check back often!


Venece & Skylar