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DANIKA BRYSHA model citizen


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C A L I F O R N I A · V I B E SEP/OCT 2017: Crave Edition

IN EVERY ISSUE 012 Editor’s Letter 016 Masthead FASHION & FEATURES 020 Passion With A Purpose 022 High Profile 028 The Men Who Cook 037 Shake + Stir 040 Good Enough To Eat 042 You Deserve It 044 Model Citizen 053 Art Of Life 058 The Luxury Awards 064 You're Formally Invited WHEN IN HOME 068 Pedigree Perfect 076 Destination Dream Home 080 Au Naturel


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Danika Brysha Photographed by Annie Vovan Dress Mac Duggal Earrings Marchesa


I get nostalgic every September. It’s crazy to think that four years ago CVLUX was merely a dream, and here we are going into our fifth year. Over the past four years I have met so many amazing people who have left an indelible mark on my life and our company. When I look back at the first few editions of CVLUX, I see how much the magazine has grown. We are constantly adding editors and contributors to elevate the content of each edition. One of my most favorite photo shoots comes from our January 2015 edition, featuring Molly Sims. Our dear friend and celebrity photographer, Jeff Vespa, shot the Mad About Molly spread in Los Angeles. The stark contrast between the desolate background and minimalist styling makes for stunning cinematic images. Our circulation continues to grow and I am pleased to announce that we have doubled our newsstand distribution for the Fall, expanding our readership and reach for advertisers. Donna and I are so happy that all of you have chosen to be part of our journey. Without the support of the community none of this would have ever been possible. Each day is a celebration for us and it warms my heart to look back and think that we’ve accomplished something that no one else in the Valley has ever done before. I am extremely pleased with this edition of CVLUX. One of my favorite articles is our cover story, featuring the charming and multi-talented, Danika Brysha. This candid conversation brings a breath of fresh air to this edition. Annie Vovan of Annie Vovan Photography photographed Danika at her business, the official Model Meals headquarters, with her team. To see additional images from this stunning shoot go to www. Finally, it is time for the Luxury Awards! This year we have assembled a list of all the businesses and individuals who are offering unparalleled service to the community. I encourage you to take the time to log on to and cast your vote. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Art of Life Cancer Foundation. Let’s make this year’s event one for the record books, and keep an eye on social media for all the latest Luxury Award news and updates. So take a little time, stop what you are doing and thumb through the pages of this edition; who knows what you might discover? Cheers,

David Manning

2nd Letter Editor

C A L I F O R N I A · V I B E

DAVID MANNING Editor-in-Chief, Partner

DONNA KACZMARSKI Creative Director, Partner


Letters To The Editor: We want to hear from you. Please submit letters to: CVLUX, 7797 N. First St. #172, Fresno CA, 93720 or e-mail to Letters must be signed and deemed appropriate for our readership to be considered for publishing. Letters are subject to editing and may be cut for length. Story Queries: Are you a writer? Please send story queries to Please allow six to eight weeks for a response. CVLUX is not responsible for unsolicited material. CVLUX is published bi-monthly by Modern Living Publishing LLC, 7797 N. First St. #172, Fresno CA, 93720. Copyright 2014 by Modern Living Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Every effort has been made to ensure the information within this publication is complete and accurate at the time of publication. CVLUX does not warrant such accuracy or the claims of its advertisers. All materials, articles, reports, original artwork and photos published in this magazine are the property of Modern Living Publishing LLC and cannot be used or reproduced without permission in writing. Modern Living Publishing LLC is not responsible for the opinions expressed within the publication. Prices quoted in advertisements are subject to change without notice.

Above: Rose Gold and Diamond Eyelash Evil Eye Studs, Sydney Evan $1,895.00




The heartbeat of this agency is family,” says Andrea Der Manouel, of M.D. Manouel Insurance Agency. Andrea’s husband, Michael Der Manouel, Sr. started the agency in 1974, after spending 20 years as a farmer and working as an insurance underwriter. His farming experience has proved invaluable, as one of the agency’s areas of specialization is insurance pertaining to agriculture. Today, Michael, Andrea and her son, Austin Brock, operate a family-run insurance agency that not only serves its clients, but also treats its employees like family, while giving back to the community. When Michael and Andrea talk about their employees, it’s as if they are talking about family members. Michael’s face lights up when he talks about his employees’ children, to whom he is affectionately known as “Papa Michael.” “When their kids come in, they always come and visit me. If one of those kids is sick, we tell their mom to ‘stay home.’ We have a high chair here and some of our young moms even work with their babies in a playpen in their office,” says Michael. It’s clear that not just two-legged family members are welcomed into the office. “I’ve got a dog bed behind my desk,” laughs Andrea, “and so do some of our other employees.” “We love our business,” Andrea says, “and our staff loves to work here. We make life work here. We eat together and support one another.” It’s obvious the staff agrees; M.D. Manouel boasts a distinguished history of long-term employees and professional agents. M.D. Manouel is a full-service agency, but they offer something that other insurance companies do not: a focus on certain “niche” areas. This means they offer not just insurance policies, but full-service risk management and loss control, tailored for these specific areas. Though they serve a wide array of businesses and offer commercial products, employee benefits and personal products, they specialize in the niches of agriculture, social services, construction and High Net Worth Personal Insurance. Charles Specht, V.P. of Business Development and Marketing, joined the M.D. Manouel team in May of this year. After being an area V.P. for the fourth largest insurance company in the world, Charles left to start his own consulting firm, which supports both insurance agencies and insurance buyers to improve their business and learn to lower their fees and costs. “We aren’t just focused on insurance,” says Charles. “We look at ourselves as being in the industry of our client rather than being in the industry of insurance. We aren’t just another vendor. We can insure anything, but we focus on loss control and risk management, primarily in our niche areas. We are then able to offer specific solutions for problem areas.”

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Because of this focus, they can give specific guidance in both loss control and risk management. “This means we work with our clients to help put niche-specific safety measures and other programs into place, to prevent loss,” explains Charles. “This allows frequency and severity of claims to be lower, which drives down premiums and creates a better work environment where employees feel safer and have higher productivity.” In addition to providing their clients with the best insurance for their needs, one of the things that the Der Manouel family is most passionate about is the Hubbard Baro Memorial Golf Tournament, established in honor of Jeremiah Baro and Jared Hubbard, two friends who were killed in action on November 4th, 2004. The tournament was started by Austin Brock, as well as a group of the fallen young men’s other close friends, as a way of honoring them, remembering them and celebrating their lives. Over the last 13 years, the tournament has continued to donate 100% of its proceeds to the Fresno Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, totaling over $300,000. Each tournament honors a vet, and at one, the tournament had the honor of hosting Colonel Oliver North as its guest speaker. Stephen Bauman, Director of VA Central California Health Care System, presented a plaque of appreciation to the Hubbard-Baro Golf Tournament in February of 2016, for its support of the VA. “I served as the Acting Director at VA Central California Health Care System (VACCHCS) in 2015,” says Bauman. “What I noticed then and what was the deciding factor in my decision to apply for the Director position at VACCHCS was the support of the veterans in this community,” says Bauman. “It really is about faith and hope, love and respect, and this community exemplifies these attributes perfectly. What the Hubbard-Baro Memorial has done, and continues to do, for the VA and our Central Valley Veterans is absolutely immeasurable. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are honored to call you friends.” The Der Manouel family “works hard and plays hard,” Andrea says. When they aren’t spending time with their children and grandchildren, they are working with their horses and relaxing at their beach house. But they are also avidly involved in their community: in addition to sponsoring a local young man to go to West Point, the Der Manouel family also contributes to Cats on the Kings, an orphanage in Haiti and equine rescue. Michael’s love for animals is evident in the bag of dog food he keeps in his car, just in case he comes upon a hungry stray. Andrea, Michael and Austin all agree that they don’t go to work every day because it’s a “job,” but because of the people they work with and for. “We are committed to creating a positive work environment for our staff,” Andrea explains. “At the same time, we are committed to helping our clients manage risk, so that they and their businesses can grow and thrive. Accomplishing both those things gives us purpose and fulfillment.”

HIGH PROFILE Three’s Company: The Butterfish Story Features Editor Ann T. Sullivan Whitehurst Managing Editor Cheryl Ensom Dack Photographer Don Dizon


e sat down with Butterfish owners, Brandon Smittcamp, Kevin Koligian and Rema Koligian to ask them about their restaurant, which specializes in “California Poke.” They explained how the business started and what makes it different from other culinary experiences in the Valley.

“We were convinced that there had to be a way to make and serve delicious, healthy, fresh food,” they told us. Furthermore, as the three put their heads together, they realized, “The options were limited. If it was fast, it usually wasn’t healthy. If it was healthy, it often didn’t taste great. And if it was convenient, it typically wasn’t fresh.” Since they have families who have been farming in the Valley for generations, and they all knew and appreciated fine dining, “We knew we could do better,” they decided. Brandon and Kevin, both born and raised in Fresno, have been best friends since kindergarten and they even had their first jobs together: Brandon (who is an eligible bachelor, by the way!) and Kevin worked at Lyons Magnus in junior high, stacking boxes on pallets at the end of a production line. Kevin and Rema first met in Sacramento at McGeorge School of Law in 2005. Kevin made a great sales pitch about Fresno and the rest, as they say, is history; the two will celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary this fall. We were curious: how did three friends concoct the unique concept of their restaurant, California Poke? “We each enjoyed eating poke in Hawaii, and on the heels of one of us complaining about the lack of healthy food options in town, we decided to develop our own California Poke Bowl concept. It was important to us that we offer more than just raw fish, so we started playing with ways to incorporate real crab, shrimp and chicken,” they told CVLUX. “We came up with the name ‘Butterfish,’ because we wanted a playful, catchy name. We liked the fact that ‘butterfish’ was a little oxymoronic in that we don’t serve butterfish or cook with butter.” When we asked the trio what their personal favorite Butterfish bowls are, they each had a different response. Brandon likes a combination of salmon, seared ahi, brown rice, wontons, spicy thai, cilantro, green onions, toasted sesame seeds, Sriracha ponzu, miso vinaigrette, cucumber, shaved snap peas, jalapeno, blistered shishito peppers, spicy mayo drizzle and crispy onions. Kevin’s favorite bowl includes ahi, sushi rice, wontons, Srirachi ponzu, miso vinaigrette, cilantro, green onion, toasted sesame seeds, cucumbers, edamame, shaved snap peas, honey cashew drizzle, macadamia nuts and crispy onions. If Rema created her ideal bowl it would include seared ahi, sesame shoyu, cilantro, green onions, toasted sesame seed, shaved snap peas, zucchini threads, wasabi cream drizzle, macadamia nuts and crispy onions. It’s clear that the possibilities are endless and delicious when it comes to California Poke, but the Butterfish owners say they have a lot of exciting sauces, proteins and topping they haven’t rolled out yet. They also recently accomplished a major goal in signing a lease for a third location in Northwest Fresno. When we asked them who in their lives has had the greatest impact on the people they are today, Brandon talked about Dave Milutinovich. “He’s the reason I fell in love with the restaurant business,” Brandon explained. Both Kevin and Rema say their grandparents impacted them most. “My grandfather, Vaughn Koligian, Sr., was an incredibly tough man, yet also kind,” said Kevin. Rema’s grandmother, Tobina Dalton, "Exemplified unconditional love and patience," Rema told us. Those answers led us to to ask the three what the best advice they’ve ever been given, expecting something like, “Work hard,” or, “Don’t give up on your dreams.” Their unique friendship and sense of humor is fresh and fun, so their answers were comical, to say the least! Best advice Brandon every got? “Don’t go into business with your friend or his wife.” Kevin answered, “Don’t go into business with your wife or your friend.” So of course we weren’t surprised at Rema’s answer: “Don’t go into business with your husband or his friend!”

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LookforFabulous Fall


WHO COOK Managing Editor Cheryl Ensom Dack Photographer Don Dizon

The San Joaquin Valley is known as “the bread basket of the world” for good reason: we are surrounded by agriculture and an abundance of fresh ingredients, year round. Here in Fresno, “farm to table” can be very literal. At the same time, the Valley is home to countless cultures, and as a result, a very rich culinary heritage. CVLUX would like to introduce you to three of “The Men Who Cook” in Fresno, who make it fresh, fun and delicious to eat right here in our own neighborhoods.

Jim, Jeff and Jimmy Pardini, The Annex Kitchen The Annex Kitchen, once home to Pardini’s Café, is an Italian-inspired restaurant influenced by the seasonal offerings of farmers throughout Central California, opened by Jim Pardini and his sons, Jeff and Jimmy Pardini. Inspired by his travels throughout Italy, Jimmy Pardini began his cooking career at Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles. After working in Los Angeles for several years, Jimmy decided to move back to his hometown of Fresno and enter into business with his brother Jeff, and father, Jim. In June of 2015 they renovated the existing Pardini’s Cafe into what is now The Annex Kitchen. The cuisine the Pardini family seeks to reflect is the rustic, ingredient-focused cooking of regional Italy. The focus of the menu revolves around housemade

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pastas, grilled meats and vegetables from a wood burning hearth, and pizzas baked in their wood burning Acunto oven. The full bar also draws inspiration from locally sourced seasonal produce in its development of modern crafted cocktails while also paying homage to the classics. Italian food is quite literally in this family’s blood, as is the restaurant business. Jim worked with his own father in several restaurants here in Fresno, learning to do everything from bussing tables to meal prep. In 1971, Jim and his father, Al, opened Pardini’s restaurant on Shaw and Van Ness, and then in 1981, Jim founded Pardini’s Catering Company, one of the largest and established catering companies in the San Joaquin Valley. Three generations of Pardini men who cook is clearly turning out “quite deliciously,” as earlier this year, at the Best of the Valley Restaurant Awards, Jimmy Pardini received the honor of being named Restaurateur of the Year, while his father, Jim Pardini, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pat LaRocca, FIVE Pat LaRocca has always been in the restaurant business. His first job was at his uncle’s restaurant, the original DiCicco’s on Blackstone. In the ‘80s, Pat’s parents opened LaRocca’s, where Pat worked until he opened his own restaurant in 2015, FIVE, in its current location, on Champlain in Fresno. FIVE offers an exquisite blend of contemporary Californian and Italian cuisine and features a private dining room, a wine room, an outdoor dining patio and full bar. The engaging atmosphere and energetic ambience is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. Pat is passionate about food and the food service industry, and it’s evident in his exuberance and genuine enjoyment of both his job and his customers. But he’s also passionate about where he lives. Of course, he loves to visit other places and enjoys splurging on travel (especially to Italy), but he told CVLUX, “I love living in Fresno because this city is my true home with my friends, my family and the community who has continued to be so good to me over the years. Fresno will always be home to me—she and I are like a wellworn shoe … we just fit together perfectly.” Pat’s other passion is his family. He has been married to his wife, Marina, for over 22 years, and the couple has two daughters. When CVLUX asked him what the perfect evening for him would look like, his answer was, “One with all of my family.” Fresno restaurant-goers agree that FIVE is one of their favorite places to eat (and drink), and in fact the Fresno chapter of the California Restaurant Association called FIVE “Best Watering Hole” earlier this year.

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Tony Sciola, Campagnia Owned by Tony Sciola, Campagnia Restaurant, located in the heart of the upscale Woodward Park area, at the corner of Champlain and Perrin, offers an eclectic menu of California Bistro Cuisine. The food is prepared by award-winning chef, Floro Bugnosen, and has received multiple awards. Tony opened Campagnia Restaurant in 2001, and since then his mission has been “to provide creative, cuttingedge cuisine in a relaxing, neighborhood environment.” His vision is for his patrons to experience an upscale but casual atmosphere that is fun and memorable. Perfect for a romantic, upscale dining experience or a quick get-together, Campagnia has been recognized as “Best Fine Dining Restaurant” and “Best Watering Hole” by

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their peers at the California Restaurant Association. They have also been awarded “Best Brunch,” “Best Patio Dining,” and in 2015, “Diner’s Choice” by Open Table. Known for their Specialty Martinis, the bar at Campagnia is open daily, from 11 a.m. until close, with a Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Not only that, patrons will find featured drink specials and enjoy complimentary appetizers during Happy Hour, with a view of Fresno’s largest wine selection, which is visible through a glass wall. Campagnia Restaurant also features Fresno’s only yearround Garden Atrium. Restaurant-goers can enjoy plush couch seating, beautiful garden décor, misters and fans designed to make dining al fresco pleasant, even in Fresno’s hot summers.

SHAKE +STIR HOSTED AT MAX'S BISTRO AND BAR Managing Editor Cheryl Ensom Dack Photographer Don Dizon Florals Simply Flowers


invited a group of local Valley women to cool off, relax and enjoy the second in an invitationonly series, Shake + Stir. This issue’s Shake + Stir was held at Max’s Bistro and Bar, on the northeast corner of Bullard and West, where the group got to spend an evening enjoying summer-perfect appetizers, cocktails and candid conversation. The first thing Katie Biehl, Kelly Lilles, Laura Mather, Sandy Cetti, Andrea Der Manouel and Donna Kaczmarski saw when they sat down at the table was the incredible centerpiece, crafted specifically for the evening by Mariah Walton of Simply Flowers. She assembled it in several pieces, creating layers with depth that complemented one another perfectly. The top layer with its ombre effect, accomplished by using three hues of purple Moon Vista Series carnations, was stunning. These were set in simple aluminum cubes that echoed the unique stained glass and metal art on the wall behind the table. The cubes were surrounded by another layer of lavender roses, greenery, berries and more, creating an assemblage everyone at the table agreed was exquisite. Max’s owner, JJ Wettstead, and his staff presented the table with five unique appetizers. First was their Ceviche: citrus-cured seasonal seafood with tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro and avocado, served with house-fried tortilla chips. “The chips are a perfect complement to the Ceviche,” raved Andrea Der Manouel, calling this fresh, summery offering her “favorite.” Both Katie Biehl and Kelly Lilles agreed. JJ explained to the group what makes Max’s kitchen and bar unique: “The theme of our kitchen and what we serve is hyper-local, which means we use seasonal, from-scratch, fresh products. And anything we can source locally, we do, from meat to beets.” “As far as the bar goes, everything is from scratch and we put a lot of emphasis on our process: fresh-squeezed everything,” added JJ. Next JJ brought out Max’s infamous “Fry Trio,” which included Sweet Potato Fries, Jalapeno-Arugula Aioli Fries (truffle-fried with fresh parmesan) and Eggplant Fries. The Eggplant Fries were Laura Mather’s favorite food all evening. “Eggplant Fries don’t get enough exposure,” she laughed, “And there’s no carbs!” While the group chatted and ate, the first cocktail of the evening was presented, aptly named “Blueberry Euphoria.” This delicious pink confection is composed of blueberry-infused vodka, muddled blueberries, fresh sweet and sour and a house-made simple syrup, shaken and strained into chilled martini glasses with sugared rims and garnished with two blueberries. It was a hit at the table and, as Sandy Cetti said, “I could drink the pink all night long!” @cv_luxury


While everyone sipped, Donna asked the table to share stories about their “first drinks,” which led to a hilarious conversation that included memories of big sisters, gin, strawberry wine and “cute cars,” and also prompted stories of memories that Kelly and Laura, who met in junior high, share. Anyone sitting nearby would think the entire table was a close-knit group of life-long friends, based on the comfortable and constant conversation and laughter. JJ brought out the Cheese Platter, which included Humboldt Fog Blue Cheese, Porter Cheddar and a French cheese, BrillatSavarin De Siene et Mama, and was paired with crackers. This was quickly followed by Max’s Hawaiian Poke, which consists of marinated and diced raw ahi tuna with cucumber, onion, green onion, ginger, toasted hazelnuts and yuzu sauce, accompanied by house-fried wonton chips. While the group sipped the bar’s next offering, the bartender explained how he composed the drink: cucumber and basil muddled into a simple syrup, to which he added a Cucumber and Basil Gin Gimlet and fresh-squeezed lime. An amazing contrast to the sweet “pink” drink the group had sampled, everyone agreed that “Summer on My Mind” was indeed the perfect name for this fresh, tart cocktail, and Sandy proposed a toast to “celebrate life.” While the final appetizer, French Quarter Shrimp, was being served, a char-grilled garlic shrimp with spicy butter and served with toast points (Donna’s favorite), conversation turned to who each woman would have dinner with (someone either alive or not), if they could. A chorus of “Awwwwww….” followed Andrea’s choice: her husband, Michael. She explained that working together every day is great, but a quiet, romantic dinner together would be a special treat. Katie thought for a bit, but ultimately decided her choice of dinner partner would have to be Donald Miller, while Sandy would pick Dax Shepherd. The women continued tasting and sipping while they talked about a host of subjects that included Pilates, their kids, the upcoming Luxury Awards, favorite blogs and even sloths. JJ brought the third and last cocktail, explaining that he wanted to present the group with one drink that was vodka-based, one ginbased, and this final cocktail, “The Derby,” which was whiskeybased. The bartender explained the drink: muddled mint, Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Grand Marnier, Contratto Rosso Vermouth and fresh lime, shaken. He said he doesn’t just add mint to the shaker, but “slaps” it in, serving it with a mint garnish. While sipping “The Derby,” the group continued their easy conversation and several made plans to accompany Laura to the early-morning Pilates class she takes. As the women reluctantly left the table, exchanging goodbyes and hugs, everyone agreed that the evening was, “So much fun!” and that Max’s food and cocktails were undeniably delicious.

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Beauty Editor Jessica McCafferty Savory and simply delicious. Indulge your senses and sweeten up your daily routine with our picks for the top crave-worthy skin, hair and makeup products. From a hot chocolate face mask to a curl boosting sherbet, each product will satisfy your beauty cravings, zero calories at a time.


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ou deserve


Beauty Editor Jessica McCafferty Whether it’s lush ingredients like 24k gold or the latest in smart tools, prestige beauty is a hot category with more and more splurge-worthy products popping on the market each day. Make your wish list now and get ready to swoon over the best luxe beauty finds at every price point. After all, you deserve it.

Under $100 - Biosilk Titanium Professional Hair Dryer $80 from This blow dryer is designed with a powerful 1875-watt ceramic motor with an ion generator to produce incredible shine while sealing the hair cuticle and locking out humidity. The powerful airflow dries hair faster to create smooth and sleek blow outs in less time.

Under $ 200 - Luzern Force De Vie Crème Nuit $175 from This crème has redefined beauty sleep by enhancing the skin’s overnight renewal process. Clean, proprietary formula blends combined with retinol and peptides target four areas of concern: brightening, firmness, hydration and surface texture. Crème Nuit is a must-have for overnight regeneration.

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Under $300 – PARFUMS de MARLY Delina Eau de Parfum $290 from Delina transports you to the opulence of Louis XV’s court. Composed by perfumer Quentin Bisch, the bouquet consists of Turkish rose, lily and peony and is accented by bright and tangy notes like lychee, rhubarb and bergamot. Vanilla, white musks and cashmeran underline the composition. Precious woods and frankincense create a warm base.

Under $400 - HiMirror Plus $369 from HiMirror is a highly accurate smart beauty mirror designed to give personalized beauty and wellness insights based on skin analysis, including wrinkles, fine lines, red spots, dark spots, dark circles, pores and complexion. Smart make-up lighting helps to ensure you can put your best face forward in any light!

Under $500 – Replete Skincare Eye Restore™ $415 from This unique antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory treatment helps maintain bright, youthful-looking eyes and lids while imparting a rested-looking glow. The Eye Restore™ promotes better beauty sleep for total circadian recovery. Sesame oil and powerful carotenes protect the skin from premature aging and wrinkles. Plus, Replete invests in using the highest Ecocert, vegan and non-animal tested raw materials.

Under $600 - Arianna Skincare Antioxidant Black Mud Mask $595 from This powerful Dead Sea Antioxidant black mud mask gently dries on your face and draws out impurities and toxins deep within your pores. The magnetized wand works like a vacuum system, pulling the dirt and toxins from your skin while leaving behind a rich layer of 24k gold serum filled with vitamins, which you massage into your pores before washing it off. @cv_luxury


MODEL citizen Features Editor Andrea Towers Photographer Annie Vovan, Annie Vovan Photography Creative Director Rae Pardini Matson, RPM PR Stylist Melissa Chataigne, assisted by Amanda Weil Hair/Make-Up Trace Watkins

Dress and Shoes Micael Kors Earrings Bone by Dawn

MEETING DANIKA BRYSHA IN PERSON, YOU IMMEDIATELY NOTICE THE FOLLOWING THINGS: SHE’S TALL, AS A MODEL SHOULD BE. SHE HAS A BRIGHT SMILE THAT LIGHTS UP THE ROOM. HER FASHION SENSE IS ABSOLUTELY IMPECCABLE. While I fuss over my comfortable flats and stare at her five-inch heels, she ushers me into her quaint hotel room overlooking Gramercy Park, and offers me a water and fruit from a beautiful arrangement. I immediately feel more comfortable; I’ve been here two minutes and I feel like we’ve met before. Danika Brysha has that personality, and she embraces it. “I would love to be a motivational speaker,” she confesses when we sit down. “And what I mean by that is to help people do what I’m fortunate enough to do. I’m a big believer in manifestation and self-care.”

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It’s safe to say that both of those things have been important in Brysha’s life, transforming her into one of the most important “body positive influencers” in recent memory. Still, “I can’t wait for the day when I’m not a plus-size model or curve model, [but] I’m just a model,” she admits. “And I use the term—I’m by no means ashamed of it, I love the term—I think it’s beautiful and I think it causes awareness, and people can call me whatever they want to call me. But eventually … I’ll just be a model.” Born on Long Island, NY and raised in Newport Beach, CA, Brysha grew up doing what most teenagers do: she filled her walls with magazine cutouts of models who seemed to be the epitome of fame and success. It wasn’t any different, after all, than what she saw at the beach, or on the streets of her town. “I saw all the models and thought that would make me feel like enough,” explains Brysha of her runway dreams. “And I saw eating disorders my whole life as a mission for weight loss.” It was a mindset that led her to spend most of her teenage and college years battling bulimia and other disordered eating. But it was only when she stopped actively trying to lose weight in 2011—letting her body settle naturally at a size 12/14—that she got her first big break as a model, when she was approached at Bank of America. And suddenly, that “stamp of approval” she had sought out while trying to make it as a model meant something different. “A big thing was being surrounded by other body positive women. Now I’m on photo shoots with these curvy women that I’d never seen,” she says. “So, to see these other women who were celebrated for being beautiful and [now] for me to be the person in the media that I never had growing up is a real sort of honor.” Today, Brysha is far from the person she was as a teenager, in many ways. Not only has she modeled for brands like Target, Old Navy, Forever 21 and Benefit Cosmetics (to name a few), she’s a successful business woman, the CEO and co-founder of the rapidly growing Whole30 approved, paleo, organic and locally-sourced food delivery service called Model Meals. She’s in a stable and happy relationship with her boyfriend of ten months (who she calls her “guilty pleasure”). She’s writing a book on self-care and has dreams of becoming a life coach. She’s happy, healthy and looking toward the future with what can only be described as glowing optimism. And just because she’s succeeding on so many levels, she has no intention of stopping.

Gown Mac Duggal Earrings Private Collection

Photographed (left to right) Christian Ramirez, Danika Brysha, Tony Thomason, Janell Webber, Paul Barbosa and Camille May On Danika Brysha Dress Skies Are Blue Earrings Bone by Dawn On Camille May Dress Hottie & Lorde Earrings Bone by Dawn Scarf Vince Camuto Jacket Unreal Fur Ring Charles Albert Food Styling Michelle Ozuna Chef's Apron BlueCut Aprons

On Danika Brysha Shell Stylist Own Skirt Nasty Gal Sequins Jacket Unreal Fur Jewelry Bone by Dawn

On Camille May Maxi Dress Showpo Earrings Bone by Dawn Wrap Braclet Bone by Dawn

“It’s so fun,” Brysha gushes about Model Meals. “And it’s so crazy to me. They talk about taking your passion and making it your living, and I get to truthfully say that I’ve done that. It was something I wanted for myself, and so I created it because I didn’t see it anywhere. We’ve expanded in Northern California, and just this growth…we [with co-founder and CFO/COO Camille May] did it without any investors, we did it really organically and authentically, and we’re really proud of what we’re doing.” The idea for Model Meals came directly from Brysha and her own experiences when she moved to New York to pursue her modeling career. She was looking to change her unhealthy relationship with food, and embarked on the clean eating-focused Whole30: thirty days without sugar, legumes, grains, dairy, and alcohol, and a total shift to healthy fats, proteins, fruits and veggies. Brysha not only lost 30 pounds, she also lost a lot of modeling jobs. Suddenly stressed and missing rent, she realized she had to figure out a way to make money. The figurative light bulb went on, and she realized that one thing she really did love was cooking and putting meals together. Brysha started figuring out creative ways to eat cleanly, and realized maybe others who were also in her position could benefit from what she was teaching herself. The hard work paid off: Model Meals has grown so much that the California-based organization is looking to expand to additional states, with consideration to the New York area. “It’s really important for me to do this slowly and correctly because you really only get one chance,” says Brysha about the future expansion. “And so, for us, I think what we’ll do, is master the West Coast and then continue to open additional kitchens in other locations.”

Model, CEO, or girlfriend—it’s that version of Brysha who will be there for you if you need to talk: the one who wants to, in her words, “give herself to the world.” After all, she’s seen firsthand how it can benefit your life. “I think we have a culture that really numbs out a lot, and I’m guilty of it. But I think the answer to how we live our life and how to guide ourselves is inside. I spent a year not drinking, eating very clean, not watching TV, to really do this self-work—journaling, gratitude, all that stuff—and all these answers started coming. Something just gets clear when you physically take care of yourself first. And in that clarity came the idea for Model Meals, and the truth of what actually worked for me in terms of relationships.” It’s no question that Brysha today is confident and fulfilling her dreams, but when I ask her what she wishes someone had told her growing up, her response makes it easy for me to see the teenage girl in Southern California who dreamed of belonging in a world of fashion and bright lights. “You are enough,” she tells me is what she needed to hear back then. “All of us are enough because we’re here. Just being born is a miracle. And I think for me, I took this idea of ‘I’m not enough because I’m not skinny’ and that went into all areas of my life.” If her ride to success is any indication, we feel confident telling Brysha this now: you are definitely enough.

Model Meals is more than an organization that helps people eat healthier. It’s a way to improve your life, Brysha explains. “If you asked me to be honest about what my mission and passion was for the last decade, it was weight loss,” she says. “Which I hate to say out loud, but it’s true. When I changed how I ate, I was a happier, more present, more connected person. And I thought, if I could make this food easy and accessible for people, this changes the world. I got off all my prescription pills. I was in a better mood all the time. I had such a clear mind that I found this deep self-worth that I needed to make myself the best possible version of myself, and in turn I gave that to the world.” @cv_luxury



Cancer Foundation

Features Editor Ann T. Sullivan Whitehurst Managing Editor Cheryl Ensom Dack


erhaps you’ve seen the new three-acre Healing Garden that was created in Woodward Park. Maybe you’ve seen media coverage or heard about it indirectly from a friend or family member. Or you may be one of the thousands of people in the Central Valley who has been positively impacted by it in some way since it began in 2007. The Art of Life Cancer Foundation is a quietly beautiful force in the Valley that is changing lives every day in immeasurable ways. Many communities have cancer support groups, but Art of Life is something unique and different. Open to all patients, regardless of their oncologist, treatment center or age, Art of Life’s mission is to “inspire people impacted by cancer to connect and heal through creative expression.” Dr. Christopher Perkins, of California Oncology of the Central Valley, was inspired to create the Art of Life program because he believes that cancer must be treated, not just with medical interventions, but also holistically, by addressing the mind, body and spirit components of survivorship. Based on scientific evidence that shows that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes for patients with cancer, and that “Healing Art” has been proven to boost the immune system of patients, as well as reduce fear and anxiety, the program allows participants to tell their story and process their journey through art and connection with others. The camaraderie that is formed as a result is both healing, comforting and hope-building. Art of Life is a movement of hope, initiated by cancer survivors, that is sweeping the Central Valley. Art of Life has several programs, but the newest and most exciting is happening with the approval of the City of Fresno and with the community’s support: the Art of Life Healing Garden. On three acres of Fresno’s own Woodward Park, Art of Life Healing Garden continues to grow and evolve into a place of sanctuary, reflection and celebration.

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“We all have lost someone to cancer, and if there’s a way to reduce the pain and suffering of survivors of cancer, war or any other trauma, we want to support those efforts,” says Darius Assemi, CEO of Granville Homes and one of Art of Life’s founding partners. As a result of overwhelming support from the community, the Art of Life Cancer Foundation was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and now provides these life-giving programs year-round. The Foundation currently operates four different programs. The Art of Life “Paint it Forward” Project links cancer survivors with one another and with local artists to co-create art on canvas that can be viewed publicly and serve to celebrate life and inspire hope. No previous art experience is necessary to participate and the project is free, due to the support of generous donors. “The Paula Project” brings past Art of Life participants together, year after year, to experience the joy of healing arts, allowing them to connect and stay connected with one another. It is a joyful event where survivors of all ages gather together, and was made possible by generous donation from Trench Shoring Company, in honor of Paula Doherty, who was one of the first participants in the Paint it Forward Project. Paula, who didn’t have previous experience in creating art, was hugely impacted by Paint It Forward and wanted to see that participants like herself could gather with other survivors in other ways besides Paint It Forward. “The Community Project” allows thousands of people in the Valley who want to support cancer survivors to be part of creating a unique group art project, by transforming ordinary materials into inspirational, beautiful art that is a testimony of their love and support. The 2015 Community Project was based on that year’s

theme, “Flourish,” focusing on the personal growth that is found within the cancer journey. Over three thousand paper circles were colored with images and messages that Artistic Director, Julie Copeland, an artist who specializes in spatial art, transformed into a 3D masterpiece. “The Art of Life Healing Garden” is an ongoing collaborative project that Art of Life describes as “a place for all those impacted by cancer to celebrate life, hope and renewal.” This special project is a three-acre garden inside of Fresno’s Woodward Park, created through the joint efforts of the Art of Life Cancer Foundation, the City of Fresno, the medical and art communities, local philanthropists and many local volunteers, and is sure to become both a local landmark and legacy. The purpose of this beautiful garden is to provide a physical space in which, as Art of Life says, “cancer survivors, their families and the community can design, build, plant and creatively express what cancer has taught them about the art of living.” Cancer survivors throughout the Central Valley are credited for the vision of the Art of Life Healing Garden, believing that our community needed a place to not only heal, but to celebrate life. Faculty and students of Fresno State’s Construction Management Program, Horticulture Center, Lyles College of Engineering and The Smittcamp Family Honors College all played a role in the initial efforts of design, while local service groups and businesses donated their time and efforts to pave the way for others to join in this “movement of hope.” No volunteer has been too young or too old to put their mark on this legacy project, and while the initial efforts were inspired by those impacted by cancer, the Healing Garden has been inclusive of, and meant to be enjoyed by, anyone going through hard times. “The garden has several aspects to it,” explains Art of Life founder, Dr. Christopher Perkins. “One of those is the art that we create, but also there is a ‘living art’ in

the garden, and that’s the greenery … I mean, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Fresno that overlooks the San Joaquin River, the second largest river in the state of California. So, there is both: that human-created art and that God-created art that comes together in the garden. And why is that important? The Art of Life Healing Garden is not established as a memorial garden. If it is a memorial garden, it’s to the death of our old selves, not to the death of a person. You know … leaving yourself behind a little bit and creating a new person … I hope that the garden will be for everyone going through a difficult time in life, and that’s not just cancer patients.” The Cancer Ribbon Trail, the “centerpiece” of the Art of Life Healing Garden, is a ribbon-shaped trail that can be viewed from Google Earth and features natural beauty and art created by cancer survivors. It is also the location of the annual Art of Life Survivor’s Walk. The Healing Garden also includes, among other elements, a pavilion with a center sculpture, designed exclusively for the Art of Life Healing Garden by Corky Normart, an artist, sculptor, window and furniture designer. “As I studied the personal stories of cancer survivors, I was inspired to build [a] sculpture, entitled ‘FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FAITH.’ The powerful imagery of open hands acknowledges the beauty of both giving and receiving support,” says Normart about his work. Another important part of the Garden is the colorful amphitheater, which features tiered seating that is lined with vibrant ceramic tiles created by supporters of Art of Life. These tiles represent or honor someone affected by cancer and depicts images and messages of hope and encouragement. @cv_luxury


“On September 6, 2016, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Cancer by Dr. Perkins. My body had multiple fractures, which in turn caused me to spend about 45 days bed-ridden. In April 2017, I had a stem cell transplant at UCSF. I am now CANCER FREE!” says Gina Estrada. “I continue my rehabilitation due to all the muscle atrophy I experienced, as well as all the fractures. Bob and I decided to help Dr. Perkins and his wife, Manuela, with their nonprofit Art of Life project, not knowing how it would then help me out with my battle. We have painted tiles for the garden, as well as lined up some pretty major donors. We attend their fundraising events and continue to support in whatever way possible. I personally go to the healing garden at least once a month." Community members of all ages and walks of life are involved in and have contributed to Art of Life, even young people, not just cancer patients and survivors. Harrison Ewell, a recent San Joaquin Memorial High School graduate, in addition to being an outstanding student and leader, was involved in numerous charities in high school. But he calls the Art of Life Cancer Foundation the organization he is “most passionate about,” and the thensenior successfully completed a campaign last year that raised $10,000 for cancer patients to display their artwork in the 3-acre Healing Garden. He will be attending the University of Colorado Boulder this fall. “I wanted to do something special to honor my late grandparents, Margi and Bucky Harris, who have been involved from the very beginning of Art of Life as founding partners. I graduated from San Joaquin Memorial in the Class of 2017 and raised the $10,000 from my family and wonderful friends!” explains Harrison. Art of Life continues to serve the Valley by bringing hope, healing and inspiration to cancer patients, survivors and those who love them, in ways that are both life-changing and unique. “In over 30 years of practicing medicine, there has been no greater joy than to see my patients experience the Art of Life. The transformation that takes place within each cancer survivor is remarkable and is an important step to not just fight to survive, but to understand how cancer can offer renewed life in a very personal way,” says Dr. Perkins. For these and countless other reasons, CVLUX has chosen Art of Life as the non-profit that will be given a portion of the proceeds of the annual Luxury Awards on January 26, 2018.

CVLUX is pleased to present the Luxury Awards. Each year CVLUX recognizes the top businesses who represent the best of the best in the Valley. In addition five coveted Diamond Awards are presented to various businesses and individuals who have given back to the community through their charitable contributions. Voting for this year’s awards begins on September 1, 2017. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Art of Life Cancer Foundation.



Friday, January 26, 2018 6:00 P.M. to Midnight

Premium Table for 10 $2,000.00 *includes plated dinner, wine & champagne

Tornino’s Banquet 5080 North Blackstone Avenue Fresno, California 93710


Individual Tickets $200.00 *includes plated dinner, wine & champagne

L U X U R Y · A W A R D S

and the nominees are ... BEST DERMATOLOGIST • Kathleen L. Behr, M.D. Behr Laser & Skin Care Center • J. Scott Boswell, M.D. Boswell Dermatology • Marketa Limova, M.D. Intelligent Skincare • Edgar S. Macias, M.D. Macias Dermatology • Leslie Storey, M.D. University Dermatology Associates

BEST PLASTIC SURGEON • Maziar Bidar, M.D. Eye Medical Center • Carl Askren, M.D. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Pavilion • Mark Chin, M.D. Valley Institute of Plastic Surgery • Kaye Riolo, M.D. Riolo Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery • James Knoetgen, M.D. Beautologie BEST MEDICAL SPA • Intelligent Skincare • Mystique Medical Spa & Wellness Center • Advanced Body & Laser Center • Body del Sol Medical Spa • Athenix Body Sculpting Institute BEST SALON • The Spa & Hungry Hair Salon at Fig Garden Village • PREEN a boutique salon • re:TREAT color + hair design studio • Spectrum Salon, Day Spa & Barber Shop • Fringe Salon BEST COSMETIC DENTIST • Sam Namdarian, D.D.S. Fresno Smile Makeovers • Willow Dental Group • Michelle Asselin, D.D.S. Fresno Dental Professionals • Forester Dental • Catherine Lambetecchio, D.D.S. BEST FITNESS CENTER • FitnessSocial • Ride 54 • Urban Block Fitness | Fightgirl Fitness • Bar Method Fresno & Clovis • Cyclebar

BEST SHOPPING CENTER • Fig Garden Village • River Park • Fashion Fair Mall • Villaggio Shopping Center • Park Place

BEST CASINO • Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino • Table Mountain Casino • Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino • Club One Casino • Eagle Mountain Casino

BEST BOUTIQUE • RSVP Style • She She • Sceptre & Sash Authentic Luxury • Patrick James • Jude’s Fantasy Land

BEST GOLF COURSE • Copper River Country Club • Fort Washington Country Club • Sunnyside Country Club • Eagle Springs Golf & Country Club • Fig Garden Country Club

BEST JEWELERS • Gianni Fine Jewelers • The Vault Fine Jewelers • Orloff Jewelers • Ara Karkazian Watch & Jewelry Co. • Wickersham Company

BEST HOSPITAL • Clovis Community Medical Center • Saint Agnes Medical Center • Valley Children’s Healthcare • Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital • Community Regional Medical Center

BEST DEALERSHIP • Pinnacle Auto Brokers • Mercedes-Benz of Fresno • BMW | Porsche | Audi • Maserati of Bakersfield • Haron Motors

BEST MORTGAGE LENDER • Kathy Stypula Bay Equity Home Loans • Lending Concepts • Mid Valley Financial • Resource Lenders • Toby Petrucelli Opus Advisors

BEST FINE DINING • Cracked Pepper Bistro • Ruth’s Chris Steak House • FIVE • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar • Campagnia BEST CASUAL DINING • Pismo’s Coastal Grill • Butterfish California Poke • The Annex Kitchen • Max’s Bistro & Bar • REV’S BEST BAR • FIVE • Elbow Room Bar & Grill • The POINT Patio Bar & Bistro • Ruth’s Chris Steak House • The Lime Lite BEST WINERY • CRU Winery • Toca Madera Winery • Ficklin Vineyards • Engelmann Cellars • Birdstone Winery

BEST REALTOR • Realty Concepts • Angie Hyatt Hyatt Real Estate • Laura Mather The Mather Method • Ryan Ramirez Ryan Real Estate • Nico Gentile Gentile Real Estate • Joe Sciarrone London Properties BEST BUILDER • McCaffrey Homes • De Young Properties • Bonadelle Neighborhoods • Century Communities • Wathen Castanos Homes


Your Wedding Every Moment. Every Detail.

Creating Happiness and Lasting Memories



3714 N Valentine Ave, Fresno, CA 93722



few snapshots of what "Celebrating in RSVP Style" looks like ... The Stems and RSVP team had the pleasure of conceptualizing, designing and implementing this summertime Moroccan Dream at a private estate in the Raisin Capital of California! The abounding love behind the scenes from the design team was reflected in every detail of the event: from the couture letterpressed invitations, romantic lantern-lit canopies and vibrant floral centerpieces to the floral arrangements each guest was gifted with upon departure. Each element reflected the dynamic couple's personal style. Guests were enthralled with rich Armenian tradition throughout the evening as the couple shook the uplit acrylic dance floor over the pool with their closest friends and family.


formally invited Lifestyle Editor Michelle Peranich


hen hosting a party, your goal should always be to turn your home into the ultimate social experience. Unlike working around the restrictions of a venue, you are in absolute control. The music, guest list and hours of indulgent fun are all at your discretion. However, with great power comes great responsibility. If you don’t plan the right way, you’ll find yourself with missing RSVP’s. Don’t panic, as there are ways to prevent this ... Begin your party planning by coming up with a theme. Party planning requires dozens of decisions, and choosing a specific style will make deciding much easier. It doesn’t matter if it’s an elegant dinner party, establishing a theme will help decide invitations, color palettes and more. Before going any further with planning, the comfort of your guests is always most important, so you should take a few questions into consideration: Do they eat meat? Do they drink? Do they have any food allergies? It may sound like nonsense, but it can often make or break a party. Make sure to have drinks ready and visible from the moment your guests arrive. Guests have a tendency to hang out in the kitchen, which is often an inconvenience for those cooking. A bar is necessary, and by placing the bar in the corner of the living room, they wont need to! Furniture rearrangement will also be helpful, as it opens up the room, providing more space for conversation. Conversation and successful mingling are some of the most important aspects to a party. Odds are your guests will be strangers to one another, unless it’s a small gathering of close friends. When in situations like this, making it a point to initiate conversations between guests you know that have common interests, then slowly easing your way out of it is a nice way to break the ice for others. Another conversation tip is to crowd the table! With more people at the table, no one will be able to ignore their neighbor. And if in doubt you can always use place cards to seat your guests next to others that you know they will hit it off with.

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When it comes to décor, there are a few simple things that will make your party both special and memorable. Make sure you have a place to hang coats and leave bags. If you don’t have the extra room in your closets it’s a nice touch to put out a folding coat-rack with matching hangers. Crisp, ironed linens are a must! There is nothing more luxurious than to sit at a table with a stunning, ironed tablecloth accompanied by a lovely, ironed napkin nesting in your lap. As for candles, I like to light something scented for the bathroom, but stick to unscented candles in the living areas, so it doesn’t interfere with the food. Flowers are the perfect finishing touch, bringing vibrant life to wherever they’re placed. When determining color, a monochromatic take is fail-proof. Blooming whites and greens make the surroundings feel fresh. When the sun starts to go down, take hosting to another level by offering your guests luxe throws to wear as it cools down, then let guests take them home after the party is over. The soft throw will serve as a sweet reminder of the wonderful evening they spent at your home. Music is the life of the party. If the music has life, then so will your party. There’s no way of getting around it. Create a playlist with the variety to change the mood, as well as the duration to last from the moment the door opens until your last guest leaves. The volume should be just loud enough so that your guests have to talk slightly above it. Take notice if everyone seems to be moving and invested in it; if so slightly raise it. Personally, I love live music. Having a band can take your party from average to extravagant. I love a beautifullycrafted mix of acoustic originals and cherished songs from the past. You will find your guests bonding over it. The musicians also serve as a lovely backdrop during cocktail hour, and provide subtle entertainment throughout dinner. Live bands are always good about dressing accordingly, while still maintaining their own original flair, creating a custom experience for any event. Party planning can often be overwhelming, and many of us just don’t have the time, so do not be afraid to enlist the help of experts. No matter the spectrum of the event, an on-hand coordinator allows you the ability to relax and enjoy the party with your guests. Be sure to write handwritten thank you notes to all of your guests, to conclude the unique experience you’ve given them.

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“Think a purple and gem-tone explosion.”


or renowned interior designer, Julia Buckingham, this North Shore home in exclusive Kenilworth, Illinois, was truly a labor of love. Her clients, both West Point graduates, were so busy with their work lives that they had put off the design work needed to make this historic house the home of their dreams. After researching the historic pedigree and reviewing original turn of the century photographs, Julia started from the outside in. “A different approach for me,” says Buckingham. The endeavor began with a modern yet timeless paint redo. Presto! The house was ready to be tackled inside. “The client’s orders included ‘Color! Texture! FUN!’ So … I added my favorite color purple—in a huge way into the living room.” Amazing and important art was added, along with custom hand-knotted rugs from Oscar Isberian. She also added diamond-shaped 3-D ceramic silver leaf tile to the fireplace surround. The lighting is a mixture of vintage gems, agate slices and blown glass balls.

The kitchen was gut-renovated with the assistance of Julia’s beloved colleague, O’Brien Harris Kitchens. Buckingham designed custom, French-inspired barn doors to close off the family room, as well as custom lead glass doors to separate the kitchen from the dining room. The result? “Painstaking and aesthetic details all the way,” Buckingham describes. “Clients approved.” The dining room was embellished with side-to-side functioning Donghia fabric window draperies. “When you close the whole room off it feels like a magical salon,” the designer says.

What I love about Julia is her attention to detail. No space goes without thought and purpose, which is perfectly demonstrated by the bookshelves in the family room which she lined in antique mirror to reflect the 3-D Romo wall covering which resembles quilted and tufted upholstery.

Destination Dream Home I Managing Editor Cheryl Ensom Dack

t’s impossible to go very far in the valley without seeing a De Young Properties community or a sign for a new community underway. No doubt you’ve also seen the television commercials featuring celebrities urging you to join them in supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. What you may not know is that De Young Properties is about to give away a new home with their 11th St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway Campaign. “The life-saving work of St. Jude is inspiring. We are all truly honored to be a St. Jude Dream Home Builder,” Paula De Young, Executive Vice President of De Young Properties, tells CVLUX about her family’s involvement in the campaign. The last 10 years have seen De Young Properties building a St. Jude Dream Home every year, raising over 9.7 million dollars for the hospital, and they are hoping to raise 1.1 million from this year’s “Lucky Eleven” campaign alone.

“When we started doing this, we originally were going to do three (campaigns)… but after visiting the hospital, [we] just didn’t want to stop,” said Jerry De Young, CEO of De Young Properties. Tickets are already on sale for this year’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway Campaign, and there will be only 11,000 tickets sold. The tickets are $100, and every penny is given to St. Jude. This year’s St. Jude Dream Home is still under construction, but it will be open to the public beginning September 30th, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on September 28th. The winning ticket will be drawn by a local St. Jude patient on November 5th during a live T.V. show on FOX26. The public can visit the Dream Home on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of October, and all visitors are eligible to be entered into a free drawing for a $10,000 shopping spree at Mor Furniture. This year’s home is a De Young Residence 220 SmartHome located within the De Young “Holland Pointe” community, on De Wolf and Ashcroft near the Reagan Educational Center. It is 2,500 square feet with four bedrooms, three

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bathrooms, a loft and a two-car garage. In addition, Celebrity Designer, Michael Moloney, of Emmy-Award winning show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will be donating his time and resources to the “Michael Moloney Mystery Suite,” where he will work his television-famous magic on the master suite of the home. Michael Moloney met the De Young Family in 2009, when they did an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project together. When Michael heard about their passion for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Dream Home Campaign, Paula says he immediately wanted to get involved. “Working with Michael is a highlight,” she says, “and he brings a really fun energy to the campaign.” This is Michael’s second year partnering with the De Young team, and last year he and Ashley De Young, Vice President of Marketing at De Young Properties, visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital together. The rest of the family has visited the hospital on several occasions and their faces lit up as they described it. “It’s magical,” Ashley tells CVLUX about St. Jude. “It’s not just one building; it’s a campus. Everything is positive and upbeat, and they think of everything from the child’s perspective. The television and computer screens are at childlevel and the stairs are different colors and play music when you step on them.” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the only National Cancer Institutedesignated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children and is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Not only that, doctors and scientists world-wide have free access to the breakthroughs made at St. Jude. When the hospital opened on February 4, 1962, based on founder, Danny Thomas’ dream that “no child should die in the dawn of life,” the survival rate of childhood cancer was 20%. Today it is an incredible 80%.



• Multiple non-invasive body contouring procedures • Skin Rejuvenation • Skin Resurfacing • Skin Tightening • Hair Removal • Tattoo Removal • Vascular Treatments (Redness) • Sweat/Odor

1125 E. Spruce Ave. Suite 207 Fresno, CA 93720

“Once you’re a St. Jude patient, you’re a patient for life,” adds Paula. “Even after they are given a clean bill of health, the hospital follows each patient, ensuring that their research provides a good quality of life and the long-term results of the treatments are positive. They aren’t just trying to help these children survive; they thrive.” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital may be halfway across the country from the Central Valley, but it has treated and cured some of our very own children and others benefit from the research locally. The De Young family has met most of the St. Jude patients here in the Valley, and as Brandon De Young, Executive Vice President of De Young Properties said, “It always comes back to the patients. We’ve watched local St. Jude kids that grow into these beautiful people. Then they show up and help with our annual campaign.” There is always new hope coming from the efforts of St. Jude. When Ashley De Young and Michael Moloney toured the St. Jude Red Frog Proton Therapy Center (the only one in the world capable of treating children) last year, they were impressed. This new therapy allows doctors to precisely deliver highenergy protons to kill or shrink tumors while minimizing damage to other tissues and organs in the child’s body, which research suggest may be more effective than traditional radiation.

De Young Properties is also heavily involved in supporting local hospitals, and their commitment to the St. Jude Dream Home Campaigns in the last decade is tireless, but each member agreed that their hard work is always worthwhile. “We witness the community coming together. Between our trade partners donating and community members buying tickets and volunteering … our community really needs to be thanked,” says Ryan De Young, President of De Young Properties. “Every single winner has said, ‘I bought the ticket to help the kids.’” You can purchase tickets by calling 800-543-5887, or by visiting De Young Properties Welcome Centers, Fresno Coin Gallery and Noble Credit Unions. Starting September 30 and every weekend in October, you can tour the St. Jude Dream Home and purchase tickets. The home is located at 3340 Holland Avenue (near De Wolf and Ashcroft) in Clovis.

CVLUX asked local Campaign Chairman, Bob Whelan, why he has stayed involved with the St. Jude Dream Home Campaign here in the Valley for almost a decade. “I used to ask myself that question. I have a ‘day job’ as a Chief Deputy District Attorney, my ‘night job’ as Mayor of Clovis keeps me pretty busy and I also teach criminal law on the side,” replied Whelan. “On top of that I am a husband and father. I stopped asking myself that question, however, after I got to know some of the families in the Valley who have been helped by St. Jude, and then, when I visited the hospital.” The De Young’s make it clear that these campaigns are a community effort. “Without the support of the community, our trade partners and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Brandon De Young added. There are more than 40 trades companies involved in this year’s St. Jude Dream Home, donating everything from nails to faucets. The lumber company, 84 Lumber, decided after touring St. Jude, to donate 100% of the lumber for the campaign. @cv_luxury


Au Naturel


Interiors Editor Mike Ragan


tripping down to the basics, does not mean giving up quality, design or style. The newest trend on the West Coast is au naturel. The palate consists of creams and whites, straws and woods. It’s all about strong lines, geometric shapes and bringing nature inside. These designers are expert at molding earth’s elements into unusual, beautiful pieces of functional art with creativity and a sense of humor.





1. Secto Design 2. Ann Gish Argento Floor Screen from Global Views 3. Kirk Nix Fritx Rope Square Ottoman from Palecek 4. Kirk Nix Small Pike from Palecek 5. Uttan Folding Chair from Selemat Design 6. Glass Series No.8 from Whyrhymer 7. City Bike Cruiser from Materia Bikes



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