As anyone who lives in NY can tell you, it's not an easy life. After a few incredible years here, I am so happy to know that feeling first hand. The 'grind' that people refer to, and the insane drive it takes to get by in this fair city. I also now know the magical things that come along with this life -- the incredible people you meet, the indescribable moments you witness, and almost-too-much level of inspiration on a daily basis. But, as a gypsy at heart, I always knew NY would never be our home. However, I never expected it to be such an incredible chapter.
So, it's exciting and bittersweet to say that my husband, cat, and I, along with STATE headquarters are moving south at the end of June. I'll always be Southerner at heart, and it feels amazing to be going 'home'. To a slower pace, a big old house (and studio!!), family nearby, and a front porch swing and pool. It's time to put down some roots, expand the STATE studio and team, and stay a while. Georgia, here we come! We're already exploring some really interesting and new manufacturing models there and am excited to see where it leads for STATE's future collections. And on a personal note, I'm already dreaming of the closet space and pool-side lemonade (two things Brooklyn seriously lacks.)
New York has been epic in many ways, and I collected some favorite moments:
I walked across many bridges.
I fell in love with Central Park. Especially when seeing it from lunch at the Boathouse (where they have incredible mac and cheese, FYI)
I made my first pair of britches in my apartment in NY.This was the start of too many indoor clotheslines to count. City living makes you crafty.
We took smock production to a new level, working with seamstresses across Brooklyn, and shipping them to customers all over the world.
I turned 30.
I navigated the streets of midtown. The Garment District, and all it has to offer, quickly changed my business and level of production. This may be the biggest and most important influence that NY has had. From meeting amazing factories, working with pattern graders, having access to supplies, it's a designer's dream. A place I will continue to travel back to many times a year.
I schlepped, and schlepped, and schlepped some more. So much so, I invented a bag.
I had the fantastic luck of working with the most talented, stylish, funny, and wise interns and assistants. They made the studio feel like home and brought so much energy and love to my little label.
I had the crazy idea for the Secret Summer Catalog. Inspired by all the talented designers, artists and makers I was befriending, a mail order print catalog seemed like an obvious project to undertake. Twice. And both times it was a wild success!
We had a very NYC Christmas. We mapped out and hit up all the old fashioned, black and white photo booths in Manhattan, and then had Christmas dinner at a dumpling house.
I experienced what a real winter is like.
And, as a result, stop caring about style all together for about 4 months.
I was spoiled by living down the block from the best pizza in New York. Seriously, I could eat this everyday. I find solace in knowing that Luigi's overnights pizzas through the mail.
I found a community. The Textile Arts Center became a huge part of my life. If you don't know about this place, you should. It's my second home in NY and I'm so lucky to have a role there. We made many yards of hand painted / dyed STATE fabric there and I'll miss these large tables and friendly faces.
While at TAC, I became the Editor of a ground breaking textile magazine that I am so proud of. I'm happy to be staying on and guiding the next issues of TAC from my southern outpost.
What an amazing chapter. It's a little insane to think of how much happened in less than 3 years. I'll miss my friends and neighbors, but know I'll be back soon. And after a much needed, week-long nap, I look forward to being even more productive down south in STATE's new mega studio....
So, here's to change and all that lies ahead!