I met a librarian years ago who said his job was to “start conversations.” I love that.
I’m beginning to think one of our jobs at South Street is to disseminate information about what’s important to us, makes us happy, believe everyone should know. I don’t think there’s a limit about content.
So here goes:
I need to tell you about a New Yorker article, and a book I read while sitting on a pristine beach in Florida. (OMG I was SO HAPPY. I even got a cold. I didn’t care!)
The article: Roger Angell’s “This Old Man” in the Feb 17& 24 New Yorker. I read it Feb 13th. It was the biggest-hearted valentine to life ever written, I swear.
ON Valentine’s Day my husband and I took off (via a stop to see kids and grandkids) for Manasota Beach Club on Manasota Key, FL.
A wonderful customer told me this is one of her “places”..not a high rise in sight, three good meals a day, ancient Banyan trees. “Old Florida” she said. Alleluia!
When was the last time ANYTHING exceeded your expectations? Or am I just getting too syndical..check it out:
We went for 5 days..HARD to come home. I’ll now follow her anywhere.
The book: “The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove” by Christopher Moore. So goofy, the guy is fabulously whacked. Is there anything more cathartic than laughing convulsively?
AH! One more thing: for this warm weather trip I raided the store and took: 3 tunics, a couple Jane dresses and capris..that did it!
"We’re almost there" she says waking to 2 stinking degrees on March 4th. Hang in… really great new stuff coming from us on the website this weekend. I just photographed Terry on Sunday..she looks so damn good in our stuff! So will you.
We turn three years old this Friday and I think about it in two ways: man, was THIS ever a year! And then…can I act three? just for a few days?
First, this is the year we got our sea legs; we learned how to hold on and go for it when opportunity demanded breathtaking risks and then exhale when pressure backed off a little. We understand what growing a business means more than ever.
We are all often asked if we miss doing our own art and we all say “yes.” But learning to do something totally new and gaining new confidences in the process is an amazing feeling especially at this point in life. It’s exhilarating and I know it’s feeding my art…I can feel it from here.
We continue to LOVE what happens between us and our customers. The word “awakening” comes to mind. We are a fabulous generation of women who have so much to share about ourselves as we freely talk to each other. It happens in the store all. the. time. and on the phone with you. Remember when women didn’t talk about “the change?” It’s okay to be this age, have this body and think these thoughts and at the very least, to share them with each other.
And probably this all adds up to my second response to being three: sometimes I don’t want to be so damn adult. Sometimes I want to give flip answers to rudeness and pick fights with idiots.
There I said it. Feels good.
Feel free to call!!
Can we talk about where and when to wear linen? After three years of running a linen business in Maine we want to set the record straight on linen in winter. Since linen is a great breather and insulator, better than cotton even, it keeps you cool in summer and, we are thrilled to tell you, warm in winter. It’s comfortable, yummy to wear and looks great on. It’s a perfect layer in any season.
We sell different weight linens because they have different insulating/cooling qualities; lighter for summer, heavier for winter. We also layer under it if the weather calls for a closer layer. (Our striped tees? perfect first layer). So you get the picture, right? You don’t have to wait until the temperature is above 75 (or Memorial Day) to wear your beloved linen.
I can’t help with your patent leather shoe decision. But if it’s about linen, call me. The doctor is in!
I have too many things to talk about.
First, I need to thank you all and tell you you are RIGHT in saying that we have a great model on our website and in our ads. ”It’s so great she’s of a certain age” you say almost apologetically.
Having Theresa model has been one of the biggest uppers of this business. She had no idea she’d love the way she feels in our clothes as much as she does and I didn’t know she’d be such a natural in front of the camera. We laugh a LOT. She doesn’t ever wear make up in “real life” so we both crack up when she sees herself in the mirror. Gorgeous, right? Where did we find her?? Next door in rural Maine!
Next: my body image issue of the month: arms and your right to bare them.
People! Women! They are okay!..and don’t bother writing to me about this. I can’t take it.
Thirdly, (and in total contradiction to the arms diatribe), this has become one of my favorite topics since opening our store: why are so many women running around in their underwear in the showroom?? Something is happening in there and clearly, not only is it out of our control, it’s out of everyone’s control! It’s as if we have a sign on the door that reads: don’t bother using the dressing rooms, just take off your clothes and let it all blow free! There ARE men upstairs who occasionally walk through, and when we say that you say something like:”oh I’m not the least bit modest” or “I’m very quick..” OK, we get it…we’ll just pick up your garments and make a pile on the chair for when your romp is over…and shut up about it.
Fourthly, the list of endlessly cool women coming our way is worth everything about this business. You help us remember why we decided to do this in the first place. Vibrant, hilarious and so grateful for what we’re trying to do. Our connections have become as important as our paychecks. We love you.
We mean it.
Jane of Team South Street
My kids don’t understand that women of a certain age talk to each other much more readily and familiarly than ever before in our lives. When they see me doing it they are sure it’s just another sign of my impending dotage. I tell them about it in glowing terms but it makes no difference. So I become more and more a cartoon character to them every day.
Having said that: I LOVE this new altered universe where lots of what we held onto in our earlier lives is melting away and what’s left is our collective selves trying to figure out the last quarter. I love the knowing nods we give to each other in passing. I love the unspoken understanding that we know each other, no words necessary.
What does this have to do with South Street Linen? Everything, from what we design to our conversations with customers. What we think about when we design and chose fabrics: will this be really fun to wear? really comfortable? make us so damn cute? sophisticated? feel beautiful and cared about by the choice of linen. We pay attention to what is happening to ourselves (you) and what would make us (you) feel great about it. (It’s a process for God’s sake, so let’s have fun with it!)
Aside from seeing the designs come alive, (and after all the tweaking to get it market-ready) a most fun thing about this business is seeing how things fit on different bodies, what women love about how it looks ..(last summer, a young client looking in the mirror exclaimed: “I didn’t think I’d look good in YOUR clothes!”… just sayin’…) and in the process the inevitable conversations about our bodies and our lives. It happens about every time in the store. For the record: we are still talking about our bodies as a comparative exam; it’s hard wired and we know it. But after we give it the nod and brush- off it deserves we turn to what is really happening and what we want: access to family and community, intelligent conversation, air to breathe, music, good reading, great food, mobility…an ongoing, evolving, elegant reflection of what’s important in life.
And it’s not that we will all become best friends but that we understand each other like never before… because we’ve had the time to get to know ourselves.
The kids will get there…they just can’t know it yet.