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I started following “EllaNora Boutique” on Twitter during Brad’s season of the Bachelor when Shawntel Newton kept tweeting her jewelry secrets and they all pointed back to EllaNora.com, which you’ll learn a little more about if you keep reading! :)

What I didn’t know at the time was that the woman behind that cute jewelry boutique was a stay at home mom who turned her passion into a business. Kari Dunn started EllaNora.com as an extension of her love for shopping, her passion for affordable accessories, and her overwhelming affection for her two daughters, Ella and Nora.  And let me just tell you, she’s as gracious and gratuitous on the inside as she is on the out, which is why I was so thrilled when she agreed to let me interview her and learn a little more about her beauty secrets! So THANK YOU so much Kari for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for my readers! I hope you all enjoy!

If you want to follow Kari on Twitter or Facebook, check her out below:



What are your everyday cheapies, products that we can buy at the drugstore that you use on a frequent basis?

The one thing that comes to mind is Lip Balm! I am obsessed with it. I never wear lipstick. Instead I always have a tube of Burt’s Bees Mango Lip Balm around. In fact I probably have about 20 of them lying around the house and in my car. And funny enough my 3 year old is just as obsessed, and many times I am asking her where they are!

Burt's Bees Nourising Lip Balm with Mango Butter (Pack of 12)

What are your go to hair products and styling secrets?

I always wear my hair down so up keep and styling are very minimal and simple. I have naturally wavy hair so I always brush it and blow dry it straight. After curling I add Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Serum.

Garnier Fructis Anti-Frizz Serum, Sleek & Shine, 5.1 oz.

What 3 beauty products are in your handbag right now?

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.

L'OCCITANE Shea Hand Cream , 1-Ounce Tube

Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Grapefruit

Exclusive By Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss - No. 10 Grapefruit 15ml/0.5oz

Lollia “calm” Perfume mini.

What are some beauty/make up splurges that you know are expensive but SO worth it?

Basically ANY Lorac color palette. The packaging is just as beautiful as the colors!


What’s your fave new beauty product/hair discovery?

Clinique’s Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector. It is amazing! I use it under foundation or on its own if I only have a few minutes to touch up.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector 0.5 fl oz - Shade 01 Invisible Light

It’s finally spring and being tan is important! What are your fave self tanners?

For the past few years I have used Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. I like just a little color and it has worked great for me.

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer, Fair to Medium Skin Tones 7.5 Ounces

What’s your signature scent(s)?

For over 10 years the only perfume I would buy is Aqua Di Gio by Georgio Armani. Nowadays, I try lots of new fragrances. I love anything from Anthropologie. They have such fun fragrances that always come in pretty bottles.

ACQUA DI GIO For Women By GIORGIO ARMANI Eau De Toilette Spray

For the past few months, I have been on the hunt for the perfect skincare regime. What skincare products do you swear by?

I have always had super sensitive skin prone to breakouts. I recently started using Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cleanser and absolutely love it! For moisturizing, I use Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. It is a light moisturizer and doesn’t cause breakouts. My foundation is normally just powder or bronzer and I like Physicians Formula or Bare Escentuals.

Neutrogena Naturals (Pack of 2)

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion 4.2 fl oz

Physicians Formula Powder Palette Color Corrective Powders, Healthy Glow Bronzer, 0.3-Ounces

Product Details

I always equate California with amazing shopping, what are your fave spots?

There are so many awesome places to shop here in San Diego. Being a business owner of a fashion boutique it’s hard to pay retail for anything. I’m a frugal person anyway and I love finding great deals on quality name brand clothing. One of my favorite places to shop is at the outlets in Carlsbad, Ca. which are only 15 minutes from my home. True Religion and The Gap are my first stops. I also love Nordstrom Rack and Marshall’s if I have the time to look because sometimes you can find pretty awesome deals!

Tell us a little more about EllaNora.com. What inspired you to open an online store selling fashion and accessories?

Years prior to launching ellanora.com, I decided to open an Ebay store. I started out as one of the first handmade soap makers on the website. After having my first daughter in 2005 I took a few years off completely. Not long after my second daughter arrived in 2008, I opened another Ebay store selling women’s and girls’ clothing and gifts. Stiff competition and high fees forced me to look into starting an online store off Ebay. There is so much to learn when starting your own website and I did this every evening for many months. My biggest dilemma was deciding on what I was going to sell and what business name to choose. After much thought I decided on strictly selling women’s accessories, and to not offer children’s items any more. That way I could focus on one thing, and that one thing is something I love. Now that I had decided on the product, it was time for a name. I wanted the name of my company to be short and memorable. After a lot of brainstorming, I finally came up with the idea of combining the first names of both of my daughters. It was perfect and how awesome to be able to bring something so personal to my business. The inspiration for starting my business was simply to do something fun for myself. Although it has proven to be a lot of hard work, it has definitely been fun!

BRIELLE Earrings – Pink

What inspires your purchases to sell on EllaNora.com? Do you just buy what you love or do you think that some of the items push you out of comfort zone, too? And what trends are you seeing for summer?

Honestly I get so excited when I come across new items that make my jaw drop! I love, love, love color and you can tell that from looking at my website. As a little girl, everything was rainbows and colored sprinkles. To this day nothing has changed. The colors I choose and the bold looks are not out of my comfort zone at all, but recently I have contemplated offering items that are a little more toned down for everyday wear.

Neon Bib Necklace

I am excited about what trends we’ll be seeing this summer. All shades of yellow will be the dominating color of the season and this makes me so happy because it has always been my favorite! Fun florals and sporty stripes will overlap from Spring in to Summer. Something new I am seeing and super excited about are the mermaid dresses and the starfish theme accessories. This is great news because I sell many starfish theme items that I love on my website.

Starfish Cuff – Gold

Shawntel Newton has been extremely supportive of EllaNora.com and was completely styled by your fashion and jewels on the Women Tell All a few weeks ago. How did your relationship develop?

I have been asked this question a lot and let me say that I am so thankful for Shawntel and everything she has done for my business. She is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Being from the same small town of Chico, Ca., I felt comfortable emailing her out of the blue, last May, after seeing her on The Bachelor Season 15. If you watched her on the show you know how well she handled herself, how mature and how self-confident she is. She is a role model. I knew she was someone I would love to have associated with my company. In the email, which was pretty lengthy, I shared details about my business and also personal information about growing up in Chico. She responded to my email within an hour happy to help with anything I needed. It has been almost a year since that email and we have become very close friends, basically family, through this experience. I’m so grateful for her support. (pics courtesy of ABC and www.mollymesnick.com)

I am a stay at home mom as well and sometimes it’s just hard as a woman to be so much to so many people AND still have something for yourself. Do you have any advice for balancing it all?

Well I’m definitely still trying to figure that out! And as a parent I’m sure you know, that things continually change, nothing stays constant for very long. As my daughters grow I’m becoming busier with all the extra activities outside of school in the afternoons and on weekends. Until they are both in school full days, which won’t be for another two years, I will have to keep working around their schedules during the day and in the evenings. My business is my “me” time and I enjoy it, so I make it work.