From In the Sky to at Coachella, How Fashion Mamas Members Met Their True Loves


Photo: @melanie.maroon

While the story behind the saint who inspired the most romantic holiday isn't 100% clear, one thing we can confirm is that true love certainly exists. In honor of Valentine's Day, we asked our members to share the touching tales of how they met their partners. From Coachella couples to high school sweethearts to airplane soul mates and more, a handful of Fashion Mamas members reveal how they found the loves of their lives — read their stories in their own words below.


 Name: Evelin Bullard

Job Title: Teeny Tiny Threads owner and designer

Partner's Name: Kristopher

How We Met: I met Kris in the summer of 2012. A mutual friend invited us both out to drinks at a bar on the beach. It was love at first sight. We spent the entire weekend together, one day on the beach, the next in the California foothills. The weekend was so exciting that I almost got arrested! We got separated from our friend and had no way to get home. We were given two choices: Take a cab home or spend the night in jail. We obviously chose option one, but we had only five dollars between us! The driver dropped us off a block away and we spent the rest of the night in a hotel. The rest is history!

That crazy weekend turned out to be one of the greatest nights of my life. That weekend I met my husband, the love of my life. Kristopher is the most supportive, and loving man. He truly understands me and knows me inside and out. We are now six years in, with a crazy 3-year-old babe and with many adventures to tell.

What I Love About Him Most: He is understanding and supportive. I wouldn't have my business if it wasn’t for him. He encourages me to take risks.

Photo: Megan Leigh

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Name: Denise Crew

Job Title: Photographer

Partner's Name: Uli

We met online via eHarmony. I hadn't dated in a while and thought I should practice to get back into the swing of things. I was immediately drawn to him because we had so much in common from our childhood, to our lifestyle and our dreams for the future. He seemed safe. A perfect practice date! But I never took it seriously because he was from Germany and I thought I could never truly connect with someone who spoke English as a second language — I mean, I'm way too complex and communication is so important to me, so he couldn't really get me in the way I wanted to be understood, right? WRONG.

We hadn't even spoken on the phone before we met, and I was running late as usual. I called him to say I'd be a few minutes late, and from the moment I heard his voice, I thought "Wait just a minute, what is going on here?!?" There was an immediate connection. And then I got a little nervous. As I was walking up to the coffee shop, I turned the corner and saw him sitting inside. My heart stopped. It wasn't as dramatic as the movies but I felt something really powerful shoot through my body. I now understand that in that moment my soul recognized his. It was a first-time date for both of us since signing up for online dating. I continued to practice but all I could do was think about him.

The next couple of months had its share of hysterical moments that were improbable but brought us together forever. He moved in five months later, and we were married a year after we first met. We've been together for eight years.

What I Love About Him Most: His effervescence & dedication to our family. 

Photo: Denise Crew


Name: Danielle Directo-Meston

Job Title: UncoverLA founder, Fashion Mamas Journal editor, and freelance fashion & lifestyle editor

Partner's Name: Thomas

How We Met: It was 2004, and two of my best girlfriends and I were heading to Coachella. Ever the prepared ladies, we had our campground reserved way in advance and even brought an extra tent. One of my friends mentioned that her co-worker from Disneyland, Thomas, and his friend needed a last-minute place to crash during the festival, so we offered to share our little plot of dirt. The guys arrived Friday night fairly unprepared — they actually had to borrow our extra tent! — yet were somehow ready to woo us by the campfire with a guitar and cold beers in hand. Us girls, however, had a totally different idea: We only hung out for an hour or so, then decided to hit the haystack so that we could grab breakfast and catch all of the first bands. Though Thomas and I immediately clicked, I had a boyfriend at the time and we didn't reconnect until over a year later when my friend revealed to him that I was newly single.

As many millennial love stories go, my friend gave Thomas my AIM screen name and we casually chatted online for a few months. He'd moved back to San Diego since we first met, and he and some friends were going to see the White Stripes in LA so he asked if I wanted to hang out with them after the show. I invited everyone to come over to my tiny little studio apartment and Thomas and I instantly fell head over heels for each other that night. We officially went on our first date a month or so later and have been together ever since.

We've been married for eight years and now have a two-year-old boy and a three-month-old girl — but oddly enough, we've gone to Coachella (not counting the party circuit!) together only once as a couple!

What I Love About Him Most: In no particular order: His goofy sense of humor, loyalty to friends and family, and honesty (among many other things!)

Photo: Cameron Jordan

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Name: Samantha Gutsadt

Job Title: Actress and TV host

Partner's Name: Ron

How We Met: Ron and I met back in 2001. We were literally babies. We had actually gone to the same tennis camp at 10. Then we had been at the same junior high but with two years between us, that felt like eternity. One day when I was 16, Ron saw me at my older brother's fraternity party at his university. He never said "hi," but that night he told a friend he was going to marry me.

Ron travelled for a gap year after graduation and kept checking in on me through his friends who were back home. I had a boyfriend on and off at this time. Some time went by and Ron returned from his travels and we were at the same spot a lot of our friends hung out at, and he came up to me and started telling me about his trip, about Australia [and] Thailand, and I remember thinking he was so different and adventurous. He asked if I wanted to see his pictures and I was like, "sure", and that was it. We've been together ever since.

We got married in Canada and began our LA adventure six months after our wedding! Six months in Ron promised to always "keep me on my toes" and he's truly kept his word! Life with him is exciting and funny and full of adventure.

What I Love About Him Most: I love a lot of things about Ron, but I think what I love the most is his loyalty. Ron has had the same group of guy friends since seventh grade and some since he was eight years old. He has their back and stays loyal to his people. I always respected and admired that about him.

Photo: Stephanie Day/Ographr

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Name: Malorie Kaye

Job Title: Cameo PR founder and president

Partner's Name: Gabe

How We Met: Gabe and I met when we were just 15 and 16 years old. We were at a national reunion for a series of teen tours, sitting in a circle for an ice breaker when he introduced himself. Only the second Gabe I had ever met (the first being my current boyfriend at the time) and I was intrigued. We got to know each other casually over the course of the weekend, exchanging AOL screen names before heading back to where we came from.

He IM'd me once or twice over the course of the weeks to come and we'd chat and eventually lose touch, until two years later when he was a freshman at Indiana University, scrolling through his buddy list one day when my name popped up. He messaged me, I had no idea who he was. He jogged my memory. It just so happened that I was headed to IU myself. We chatted, and chatted and chatted: About Indiana, about candy, about why grey, which is my favorite color, is not a color at all. I would run home from school waiting for his name to pop online. Our online chats turned to phone calls: 8, 9, 10 hours a night. His friends thought he was making me up. My parents thought I had lost my mind...we went on a family vacation to Hawaii and I spent the entire time on the phone with someone I hadn't seen in two years and barely even remembered what he looked like.

Then he came home from school for winter break, hopped on a train from Long Island to New Jersey and as I stood shaking, waiting to pick him up, I realized just how insane it all was. Then he walked up to me, kissed me, and he's been the love of my life every since. Fifteen years, two gorgeous kids, and a wild ride later, best thing I ever did.

What I Love About Him Most: He always can make me laugh, even on the worst of days, in the worst of moments, with the stupidest jokes, he knows exactly what I need every time.

Photo: Malorie Kaye

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Name: Melanie Maroon

Job Title: Blogger and fashion designer

Partner's Name: Anthony

How We Met: Anthony and I met over six years ago, on September 16, 2011. People always ask us if we met in France (where I am from) or in the U.S. (where Anthony is from) but I always love to reply in between both. Anthony and I met on an airplane flying from Paris to Miami.

I won't go too deep into details because it would take too long but we definitely have one of these story where we both felt like it was meant to be. We were living so far from each other, we didn't speak the same language but somehow we felt at home right away with one another.

What I Love About Him Most: I love how devoted Anthony is and how he always makes me dream. I love his sense of humor. And I love the father he's to our son.

Photo: Melanie Maroon

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Name: Kelli Pean

Job Title: Brand marketing consultant and entrepreneur

Partner's Name: Shawn

How We Met: Back in 2009, I was living my best life: Single, in graduate school [with] a great group of friends, and traveling the world. During a random weekend trip with my BFF Pisey to South Beach — a location we convinced ourselves changed lives with each visit — we had one of the most epic unexpected weekends: Think big yachts on Star Island and popping bottles with members of the Miami Heat basketball team. Literally SO MUCH FUN that come our departure day on Sunday, all we wanted to do was lazily lay by the Delano pool and sip on champagne before our return to the frigid temps of Chicago.

As we gathered ourselves looking like a South Beach mess of top-knot buns, sunscreen-soaked skin, and patio dresses covering our favorite bikinis, we walked down the gorgeous all-white Delano walkway that has the absolute BEST SMELL EVER when I noticed this dapper looking man was walking toward us. He stood out simply because of his smile and polished outfit that was unlike any combination I'd see in the glorious Midwest. A baby blue linen Oxford shirt, white linen shorts, and cranberry colored sneakers donned this guy and I just thought to myself, Sharp dresser...wish I could find that in Chicago. 

Within a matter of seconds, the handsome guy stopped Pisey and I to give us the obligatory male-meets-girls compliments and tried to entice us to join him for drinks. After multiple rounds of inviting and declining (we had a flight to catch after all), we exchange pleasantries about how nice it is to briefly meet and wish him well during his boys weekend. As we went to walk away, the guy runs back up to us and hands me his card and says, "If you're ever in New York..." And that was it — or was it?

A few months pass and I'm sitting in my Chicago skyline living room planning the weeklong "sister getaway" for one of my younger sisters. The plan was to split our time between NYC and Boston and it dawned on me that I was trying to plan a dope vacation for my sister who was only 18 and I had no idea what to do with someone under 21. I remembered the guy I met in passing at The Delano and after searching for his card, I dropped him an email that was all like, "Hey, you probably don't remember me but I met you at The Delano a few months ago in passing." He responded with dining and entertainment recommendations along with an invitation to host us for a night out.

So the story goes that in May 2009, I met my future husband and his best friend for dinner with my sister in the Meatpacking District before we spent the night getting to know each other across the streets of New York. After our whirlwind "date," I said goodbye and we didn't see each other until that October when we had our first proper one-on-one "date." All of this to say, we became long-distance friends for nearly a year before we started to officially date in 2010.

Fast forward to present date, we've been married for five years and have two amazing, beautiful, kick-ass children and I wouldn't trade any experience that led me here for the world. This is what I consider "winning at life and love," because no matter what triumph or tragedy befalls, I'm literally going through it all with the best man I've ever met and all because we met in passing.

What I Love About Him Most: He's the most thoughtful person I know.

Photo: TK

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Name: Natalie Ramlow

Job Title: Actress

Partner's Name: Erik

How We Met: "A Tale of Two Babies: A Haiku" 

Met in circumstance
Fell in love between it all
Four hearts one journey

(A concise summarization of events)

Photo: Ivan Ramon Melero

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Name: Jessica Rosen

Job Title: Owner, One Down Dog

Partner's Name: Daniel

How We Met: My husband and I met in high school, but the story began long before that. My mom was his dad's resident in med school and they chatted about being new parents and shared baby pics of us with one another. We met in science class sophomore year (I had just transferred to a new school) and became friends and shopping buddies.

During our senior year we started dating, and while there were quite a few big break ups along the way, nine years later we got married. Now, nearly 18 years later I am still madly in love with him.

What I Love About Him Most: I love his commitment to family, his willingness to work hard, be vulnerable and show up. He is the most amazing father — being able to witness him step into this new(ish) role is the coolest!

Photo: Justin Dennis

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Name: Ilana Saul

Job Title: Polka Dot Media co-founder and editor/digital media strategist

Partner's Name: Mark

How We Met: Mark and I met in high school here in the Valley [in Los Angeles]. It makes me laugh to think that I met a boy in drama class when I was 15 years old, he asked me to his senior prom — and now here we are a decade and a half later, with two kids together!

I turned 30 in May, which means I’ve literally spent half of my life with Mark as my partner (and we’ve been married for almost six of those years). I know how rare a love story like that is today, so I try to never take it for granted that we were able to find each other so early in life.

What I Love About Him: We’ve clearly both grown and evolved as humans in the time we’ve been a couple, but we’ve always grown in the same direction. I think the fact that we’ve been together since we were practically kids also contributes to the fact that we can still be so silly and adventurous together!

Of all the adventures we’ve been on together though, raising two tiny humans together is my absolute favorite.

Photo: Stephanie Todaro

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Name: Tanya Thomas-Thorpe

Job Title: Kateson founder

Partner's Name: Josh

How We Met: I met my husband, Josh, 14 years ago. I had just moved to Los Angeles for college four months prior to our match-making and was a vision of ambition and gumption — hardly willing to take on anything other than course work and my overnight jazz radio show. That fateful weekend, I had just bought my first car, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, and took it for spin to visit a friend who had just found an apartment through Craigslist. Her roommate took one look at me and knew her boyfriend’s best friend and I would be a match made in heaven. Fast forward two days, I was at their graduation party playing an embarrassing game of truth or dare with a big group and the intended match, Josh. A long night of talking and laughing ensued, so singlehood be damned because I was hooked, and that was the start of our love story.

What I Love About Him Most: I love that he still makes me laugh 14 years later and we love taking on adventures as a couple, but what I love most about him is the way he loves me for who I truly am — quirks and all. It’s funny that it’s so hard to love yourself fully, but it takes the right person to celebrate you for who you are. It’s fun to revel in that space!

Photo: Michael D'Ambrosia

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Name: Cassandra Troy

Job Title: Clover Juice founder

Partner's Name: Andrew Walker

How We Met: Andrew and I both grew up in amazing Montréal. He was a football player who went to school on the West side of the island, and I was a ballerina who went to school on the east side of the island. Turns out we grew up in our family homes only five minutes from each other but were too busy and didn't meet. We'd been at the same place at the same time multiple times, but never actually connected.

We eventually met in passing when Andrew, then an actor living in LA, was back in Montréal to visit his family. I worked at a gym, and his dad was a member. Andrew will kill me for saying this, but all the girls who worked alongside me swooned over him (true story!) while I just rolled my eyes and gave him a membership. After three years of this happening, something changed. One day I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a guy's silhouette walking in only to realize within seconds it was him. I told myself no way, never! But something had changed.

Andrew took the time to visit me at all three of my part-time jobs, and asked me out at each one. I blew him off until a couple weeks later when our mutual friends told me I had to meet and actually get to know him. Apparently he was a great guy. So we met. We fell in love instantly, so much so that we told each other within a few days. Fifteen years later we've never looked back. I'm grateful everyday to have found my person right in my home town and who knew holidays could be so easy...Our families still live five minutes from each other. Amazing!

What I Love About Him Most: I love his fearlessness and that he doesn't take himself or anything too seriously. Also that he encourages me to take greater risks and to keep pushing for my dreams.

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Name: Morgan White

Job Title: Stylist

Partner's Name: Johnnie

How We Met: Johnnie and I met my freshman year of college in NC [in October 2005]. I had only been in school a month when he and his friends approached me in the dining hall. They started some small talk (as all guys do) about a debate they were having over who was the best rapper, Jay-Z or Nas. Falling into the "let's chat to this new freshman by talking about anything" trap, I immediately joined. See, I'm a New York girl and I knew that these Southern boys couldn't possibly know what they were talking about. However, from that day on, I became one of the guys and didn't think twice about dating Johnnie, or any of them for that matter. In fact, I was dating a guy from my hometown, who wasn't much of a good catch, but I was young and foolish and didn't really think about what I was missing.

As the weeks went on, Johnnie and I became very close. We would stay up all night playing Monopoly and making double decker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (Yes, the freshman 15 was quickly sneaking up on me). We were night owls, and while everyone headed to bed around 12 or 1 a.m., we stayed up laughing and joking. With my dad recently passing away from Leukemia, Johnnie was easy to talk to; he had an unintentional strategy of making you put your guard down. His Southern gentleman ways and natural leadership qualities made him my "go-to" person for basically everything. Everyone around us could see the connection forming, but US!

I think we were both in complete denial and honestly didn't see each other in a light other than friends. Well, that all changed the night of the NC State Fair. One of the guys working at a game station began heckling Johnnie to buy me a game or win a stuff animal so that I could have fun. Out of nowhere, I turn around and make a comment so out of character that it turned my brown skin carnelian. I snapped back at the guy, "Oh no worries, I'll have fun when we get home." Johnnie, the coolest guy that I know to this day, let the comment roll right off shoulder and gave a chuckle. However, there I was nervously laughing in embarrassment.

After that night, something changed. I thought about him all the time! We finished each other's sentences and would make inside jokes without even having to speak. There was obviously something there, so a week later we made it official. After college, I moved back to New York and Johnnie stayed in NC. We both knew that we couldn't live without the other. Let's just say, we racked up a lot of sky miles during that time apart. Two years after, this Southern man, who had not even rode on a plane until we took a trip to NY one year in college, was now making a move to the big city.

With both of us working two jobs and seven days a week, the summer of 2013 was going to give us a well deserved break. We headed to St. Maarten for vacation with my family. On the day before our departure back to the States, Johnnie and I headed out on the jet skis. This is where he dangerously and bravely asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. It's been 12 years since we met in that school cafeteria and to this day, he still gives me butterflies and finishes my sentences.

What I Love About Him Most: Anyone that can handle my spur of-the moment, over-the-top, I-should-probably-have-a-seat ideas, deserves to be named "Man of the Year". There are way too many things I love about this man, but if you pulled my arm and made me choose one, (excuse me while I get super corny) it would be the way he looks at me. He has a way of making me feel like Beyoncé just walked through the door. Sometimes, I have to turn around and take a second look to make sure no one is behind me. HA! As a new mama, if there was ever a doubt that I wasn't 100%, without words and just his look, he had the power to erase the thought from my mind. And it does help that he's a walking chocolate statue!

Photo: Katie Blauser/Blink of an Eye Photography

Illustration: Brittany Christine

Illustration: Brittany Christine

Name: Patricia Williams

Job Title: Black i Boys owner and designer

Partner's Name: Dale (or as I like to call him, Tall & Sexy)

How We Met: I had met my husband when he was my cousin's roommate back in college. We had done quite a few group hangouts, even took a trip together to New Orleans, however, I do not remember him being there...ZERO memory of him at all. My aunt used to always say, "How can you not remember a guy who is 6' 4" and very handsome?" Fast forward to almost seven years later. I "re-meet" him at a wedding party, where he performs a karaoke of "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake and I am SMITTEN. Two weeks later we were dating and he pulled up old photos from our New Orleans trip. There we multiple group photos, sometimes even standing right next to each other. How could I not remember him?

Two and a half years later we ran off and eloped in Vegas and didn't tell anyone. Elvis married us and we drove back home drinking Slurpees from 7-11. Even though we now have four rowdy boys, our friendship, our adventures, and our passion for each other hasn't changed. He is still my most favorite person in the whole world, still gives me butterflies when he kisses me, and still makes me want to have a million more babies with him.

What I Love About Him Most: There are so many things...but if I picked one, it would be that he is the reason for so many of my best decisions in life. He handles all situations with reason and compassion, where I tend to be more spontaneous and passionate. I like to say that I shoot my bow and arrow from my heart many times without aim, and he's always there in a very fatherly way, swerving my target to ensure I hit the bulls eye.