- Words and Photography by Lia Crowe
“I am a lover of life!”
From fishing to fashion, Shai brings passion to all aspects of life. Owner of House of Lily Koi luxury consignment boutique in Sidney, Shai says that good style is all about attitude and confidence; but when asked about her personal style, she has no hesitation before answering with three words: gangster, cowboy, chic.
I have known and worked with Shai for many years behind the scenes in the realm of anything fashion, so it’s an extra special treat to turn the spotlight on her, the woman who elevates so many others through the art of style.
First I ask Shai for a little background on how she came to be a style expert.
“I was born to do this work. From the time I could hold scissors and a needle and thread, I was making clothes for my Cher Barbie. As a musician, I was influenced by the styles of jazz, country and R&B, which gave variety to my costumes on stage—and each reflects my personal style today. I have been blessed with international mentors who have taught me the essence of what style means.”
And what aspect of her work gets her the most fired up?
“It gives me great satisfaction when a person steps in front of the mirror and says, ‘I didn’t know I could look like this.’ That rocks my soul.”
Shai lives and works in Sidney and is the fourth generation of her family to be raised on the Saanich Peninsula.
“I can walk down the street and run into old friends and family; it’s heartwarming,” she says. “They know my story.”
Perseverance is the best lesson Shai has learned recently, and when asked what has led to her success, she says, “I don’t give up and I don’t take it personally.”
Style Inspirations & Life
Favourite artist: Marc Chagall and Erté.
Favourite fashion designer or brand: Ralph Lauren.
Favourite musician: Willie Nelson.
Era of time that inspires your style: 1930s.
Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Suits.
Favourite cocktail or wine: Tequila.
Favourite flower: Peonies.
Favourite city to visit: San Francisco.
Favourite app: Pinterest.
Favourite place in the whole world: Tod Inlet.
One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: There is no one thing, but if I were to choose one word, it would be: laughter.
Fashion & Beauty
All-time favourite piece: Cowboy boots.
Currently coveting: Cowboy boots.
Favourite pair of shoes: Cowboy boots.
Favourite day bag: Cole Haan.
Favourite work tool: iPhone.
Fashion obsession: Bras…they are the foundation.
Accessory you spend the most money on: Hats.
Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: A good haircut.
Moisturizer: Rodan + Fields.
Scent: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford.
Must-have hair product: Kevin.Murphy hairspray.
Beauty secret: Sleep and water.
What do you read online for style?: I read everything.
Fave print magazine: Vogue.
Coffee table book/photography book: 20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment by François Boucher and Yvonne Deslandres.
Last great read: Words of Wisdom for Women by Rachel Snyder.
Book currently reading: Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile.
Favourite book of all time: A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford.