#dstrendsetters: ioana brooks from kk travels worldwide

ioana sharing a sweet moment with her son, alex, while wearing our court modern top in periwinkle.

ioana brooks, a great friend from college, a traveler, an adventurer, a mom...has been a huge supporter of dudley stephens since we launched last october.  despite the warm climate of her home in san diego, she travels a ton and has found use for her #dsgoods through her travels and the occasional chilly day in san diego. 

below ioana answers a few questions about her beautiful and inspiring family history, her current routine in san diego with her family (husband luke and children scarlett and alex), and her position with kk travels worldwide.  

where do you live?

San Diego, California.

what do you do?

I am a travel consultant at KK Travels Worldwide and mom of two.

 necessary life extravagance:

Friday night babysitter.

favorite place on earth:

Healdsburg, California, where I got married.

favorite charity:

charity: water.

favorite movie:

I am known for my poor taste in movies...but I love St. Elmo's Fire, and I don't think I can get criticized for this one.

your family history is so interesting, tell me about it:

My family came to the United States from Romania in the early 1980s.  At the time, Romania was under a communist regime, and my family left to escape the regime.  Growing up, I did not understand the sacrifice my parents made, by leaving family, friends, and their home behind and taking a huge leap into the unknown.  I was fortunate to spend summers in Romania with my grandparents, so while we lived far apart, we were still very close.  As I got older, and especially since I started my own family, I am beginning to appreciate the magnitude of my parents' decision to leave Romania.  

you took your kids over to romania recently, how was it traveling with them?

I took my kids to Romania about one year ago and we are going again in May.  My grandparents feel too old to travel and this was the first time they met my children.  Traveling with young kids such a long distance had its challenges, but it was worth it to see how ecstatic my grandparents were to meet their great-grandchildren.  The flights were surprisingly smooth, and the biggest challenge was the jet lag.  My then 2.5 and 1 year olds were ready to play at 3am for a few nights.  However, I am not discouraged and look forward to our upcoming visit to Romania.  Although my kids likely will not remember these visits, for me the memories are priceless.    

tell us about your travels post college:

After college, I took advantage of any travel opportunity.  Some highlights include visiting friends in Costa Rica, London and Dublin, but my most memorable adventure has to be the three months I spent traveling around the world after law school.  I started in San Francisco, headed west, first stopping in Tokyo, continuing west through Asia and Europe, and returning to San Francisco.  While I had travel partners along the way, I traveled solo for parts of the trip.  Solo travel allows me to soak in a destination and create my itinerary without any compromise. 

describe a typical day in your life now:

During the week, I have breakfast with my family and scramble to get everyone fed and dressed before school or work.  This morning, when I put on my Dudley Stephens Smith Jacket, my daughter said, "Mom, I love that jacket", although her favorite is the Court Modern Top in pink - her favorite color.  If my kids are both in school, I go to Orange Theory, my current obsession, and then I work in the afternoon.  Often before I know it, I am back at school picking them up.  We come home, have dinner, bath and bedtime.

describe how dudley stephens might have played a roll in this routine:

I love all of my Dudley Stephens pieces because they fit well, are so comfortable and are easy to wash.  With two young kids, I inevitably end up with sand, ketchup, paint or a number of other smudges on my clothing almost daily.  In a well tailored Dudley Stephens top, I can look cute all day and escape my usual t-shirt and yoga pants mom uniform, without worrying too much about ruining my clothing.  I travel quite a bit, both for work and visits to my family and friends.  What to wear on the plane is always a big question.  I have found that Dudley Stephens is the perfect solution!  I am comfortable for a long flight without sacrificing style.

and tell us about KK travels worldwide, what makes KKTW different?

I joined KK Travels Worldwide just under 1 year ago. As long as I can remember, I wanted to work in the travel industry.  I took a detour to go law school and practice law for a number of years.  Now, I am so fortunate to work in an industry that I love with an incredible team at KKTWW.  

KKTWW is a unique full-service travel advisory firm, with an innovative and collaborative approach that sets us apart in the industry.  Our team has first-hand experience in over 80 countries, and we are proud to be named as Travel + Leisure's go-to wedding and honeymoon specialists.  We work together and share our expertise and experiences to create customized itineraries that reflect each client's travel style.  

for more info on KKTW:

KK Travels Worldwide

Travel + Leisure


ioana with her two cuties, scarlett and alex.

enjoying a glass on a recent trip to palm desert with friend danielle. ioana is wearing our smith jacket in faux shearling and danielle is wearing our cobble hill turtleneck in black.