Part 7.

Next week, I’m taking a leap, a tiny leap in the grand scheme of things: I’m leaving my job, buying a store in the heart of Middlebury VT and opening a shop. It will be full of vintage, handmade and fetching new items. It feels concurrently ridiculous and perfect. The word ‘retail’ makes me cringe. But here I am, balancing my chair with law books as I pour through artists whose work I have bookmarked over the years, whose creative eye is nothing short of awe-inspiring. I get to cast a home-sewn net (and pay homage to my favorite sound of music song) as I make space for a few of my favorite things. I get to design a home for my sewing machine, my typewriters, these aesthetic loves, this blog and for every vintage item that makes me weak in the knees. I am over the moon with excitement mixed with what I can only imagine is a healthy dose of incapacitating nausea.

Stay tuned, soon (very soon) there will be a website and cupcakes and a grand opening and parties. And there will always a place for you to sit and something delightful and new to take home. I hope you’ll join me. I really can’t wait!

3 years ago | 7 notes.

Part 6.

I never bartended. This summer on a trip to Cape Cod, I hunted obsessively for round white pebbles. My husband sat down next to me on the beach and called me darling. I thought of clementines and contemplated leaving my job.

3 years ago

Part 5.

I came home. I became a lawyer. I became a lobbyist and a policy director for a women’s health organization. I drew in off hours. I wrote on napkins. I found a singer featherweight sewing machine and took it home after a quick call to my mom. I hadn’t sewn in years, but my fingers itched. I was laid off and hired a week later to direct a new women’s health non-profit. I loved my work. I worked hard, but also spent hours in fabric stores. I bought a typewriter, and then another. I became transfixed by typography, indelible marks. I got married; pressing vintage napkins with my mom over weekends and tying lavender together in small bundles. I sewed our ring pillows and hoped it would snow, but not so much that guests stayed away. I fall in love with love, but also with the idea that we should surround ourselves with things that with just one look, makes your day better. I culled my favorites: vintage ink bottles, egg cups, antique lace and the way a hand typed note looks from those irregular typewriter keys.

*photo credit: www.shemroose.com

3 years ago

Part 4.

I didn’t like law school. It was ridged and box-like in the most cardboard of ways. But it gave me a structure, a respect for arguing the other side, and the belief that the answer really does depend on the particular facts of a particular case. After 4 semesters, I spent one in San Francisco. I’m sure I went to class, but really, I fell in love; with sidewalks and book stores and cardamom ice cream; persimmons at the Wednesday market, music and letters and words. I walked through Hayes Valley and picked up eucalyptus leaves to tuck into journals and send in letters. I found trays of letterpress letters, I went to Saturday night yoga classes, and drank almond milk shakes. Park after park, handfuls of benches. Writing, then drawing the edges of things.

3 years ago

Part 3.

I went to law school. I had worked with women who had been hit and incarcerated and who wouldn’t make in a year what a year of my education cost. I felt a loyalty to something – a belief that too many people lacked access to too many things and that I could at least make the door closer. 

3 years ago

Part 2.  One summer in college I took a bartending course. I was moving to Portland OR with a friend. We were young and un-tethered to anything of significance. He was from Portland. I was willing to go anywhere. I was twenty and everything tasted new. I was in love with my college, enamored with my friends. It was a “world is your oyster” kind of year. We moved to Portland. It rained for three weeks straight. But still. We drank chai tea in coffeehouses and played Chinese checkers. We lay for hours in rose gardens and I made friends with my friend’s friends. I taught at a Montessori pre-school and began keeping pages of notes, pictures and journals. I spent hours in bookstores, we climbed long driveways to haunted mansions and played in amphitheaters. I didn’t bartend. I don’t think I even tried.

3 years ago

Part 1.

I rarely get through a day without thinking about sewing by hand, typing with giant pushes on a typewriter with slow moving keys. Often, I don’t actually have the time, especially these days. But sometimes I lie in bed and hear the click, click, thwap of the typewriter keys. The buzzing hum of sewing.

Without question, they are my two favorite drugs.

3 years ago | 1 note.

Early this morning, I closed legally on the new store, Clementine. Our “soft” opening is set for this Thursday, November 4th, but if you’re in the area, you’re welcome to pop in as we rearrange and redecorate. The “Grand” Opening is planned for Friday December 3rd (make your travel plans now, out of towners). 

In the past year, I’ve gotten married and sold a house. This is sort of like that, only there has been less cake (just you wait for the grand opening though). I don’t think I’ve ever lost this much sleep in my life, but I’m truly over the moon with excitement.

The next few days will be a whirlwind, but I wanted to direct you to our new facebook and twitter feeds for updates. Like, Follow and Share and I’ll send you bushels of love (and, hopefully photos soon!). I am truly floored by the excitement and energy family and friends* have provided over the last few weeks (not to mention, feeding me, helping me move and offering endless ears and words of wisdom). It’s heartening and humbling to have you all and absolutely feeds the part of me that loves shared celebration. I hope to be blogging about all of the fetching vintage and lovely handmade items that will fill the shop very very soon. 

Until then, I might just invite you all over to sit on the floor, look up at the tin ceiling and drink champagne.

[*NB: A special thank you to my husband who was kind enough to keep being a lawyer, and my lawyer, and a great lawyer as I left the law to pursue this little vision; My parents, who are enroute to see me and help with the redesign; My girl friends who have offered hours (and muscles) of help already. And my friend, Jackson, who designed the “preview” logo above, the soon to be unveiled final logo, and goes toe-to-toe with me over typographic love). You all kick tremendous ass and I adore you. 

3 years ago | 1 note.

Clementine opened this week. We left the lawyers’ office Monday morning and I spent three days straight moving, rearranging and cleaning. My mom helped redecorate, my dad built a desk and affixed things to walls. It was a whirlwind and I just kept repeating “This can get done. This will get done.”

On Wednesday evening Drew took me across the street for dinner. I told him I didn’t have time to eat and would have to do take out. I was beyond spent. I lay in bed each night until 2am thinking about rearranging and my to-do list that seemed only to grow. He got me a drink, I stayed to eat. I settled. As it should, a little food and a little drink made everything infinitely more possible. I returned to the store and buckled down. It got done.

[Our first storefront window: designed to usher in warmth and light and some fetching things found within the shop].

We opened on a rainy cold November Thursday, but inside the store was warm and light filled. I looked around and realized it was absolutely mine. It felt amazing. 

This weekend brought welcome visits from incredible friends and a parade of great customers who I can’t wait to work with. It also brought some fabulous new orders with independent artists throughout the country, posts to follow about them.

Oh, and since it’s really my shop, there was no question that the window display would feature my one favorite thing: Stacks of fabric (and french grain sacks at that, yes please). 

More to come, but thank you to everyone who has reached out to offer words of support and stopped in to say hello. I adore you.

Stop in any time. There’s a vintage blue love seat with your name on it right next to my desk. Or visit me here and here virtually every day. 

3 years ago

Once the gears for buying Clementine seemed firmly in motion, I was able to do something absolutely thrilling: contact my favorite artists and see if they’d like to sell small batches of their wares to the shop. Immediately, I’ve been receiving positive lovely responses from small independent artists across the country (and the globe!) and now almost every day, the delivery men bring another brown box full of their incredible art. 

I’ll be posting each of the lines, but couldn’t help but start today with this breathtaking line from Susan Dwyer from upintheairsomewhere. More photos here.

Her ceramic bowls are glazed to be food safe, but I think they would make the perfect bedside dish for your rings or other lovelies (or better yet a dish to place an engagement ring within…). Her paper mache bowls are light and vibrant, hand-built with paper and covered with gold, they catch the light and create the warmest glow. Especially as our afternoons grow dark. 

3 years ago | 1 note.

I am admittedly swayed by typography. I love holding print blocks, letterpressed cards, and copper stencils. I enjoy my typewriter something fierce and some of my earliest memories are sitting on the floor of my dad’s advertising agency with a penny and those rub-off letters that they used, pre-computer, for typesetting. I can’t say calligraphy, on the whole, was ever of particular interest.

Four years ago, I began sewing and somewhere in my online search for projects I found Betsy Dunlap’s site. Betsy was blogging about a quilting project, this quilting project, I believe. Feeling similarly addicted to my new sewing projects, I loved her blog. After coming back to check in on her projects a few times, I realized she was a calligrapher.

I was immediately and unabashedly smitten with her script. Wordy by nature, I can’t quite pluck the exact words that Betsy’s writing evoked. Certainly compelling, it is absolutely lovely, evocative and just so alive!

When Clementine seemed like a reality, I immersed myself in a sea of font searching. I came up for air once and realized I could email Betsy. Voila. She began to send me samples and there was Clementine, breathy and alive in a way that even my favorite fonts could never do. 

The heart of Clementine is about returning to vintage machines, thoughtful traditions and the small gifts that make days wonderful. Correspondence with Betsy, and her friend Shanna (whose delightful wall decals we just got in the shop and who I’ll write about in more detail soon) make me want to have pen pals again. 

I’m posting Betsy’s samples 2 & 3 here, not the one we eventually went with. Number 2 was our mutual favorite, which, in the end couldn’t be read by just enough people that I felt we had to change it slightly. But it was the one that I opened in the darkness of a sleepless night on my tiny phone screen and thought, yes! Yes, there she is.

A part of Clementine was born that morning, a piece of which will forever live in Betsy’s hand, and for that I am outrageously grateful. 

For now, I’m off to buy one of the exquisite calendars that Betsy and Shanna designed together. After one look, I wouldn’t be surprised if you do the same…

3 years ago
new chalkboard paint + Shanna’s summer garland wreath + a few favorite things = inspired and feeling a bit more like me.  

new chalkboard paint + Shanna’s summer garland wreath + a few favorite things = inspired and feeling a bit more like me.  

3 years ago
a wee bit of designer appreciation. 
My logo (and web) designer and friend, Jackson, made this whole thing a gazillion times easier by being amenable and energetic and flexible and genuinely interested in what I was creating. I don’t know how this sort of thing (creating a business from virtual scratch) is supposed to work. I do now know that surrounding myself with talented people who I enjoy has yielded good results. 
It doesn’t hurt that I can send Jackson emails at all hours and stop by his house to drop things off, but maybe more to see Laura, who happens to be his fantastic wife who gives me actual and virtual exclamation points of encouragement and we can laze around on the floor chatting about making a store while their baby boy, Gray, gives me smiles and excellent belly laughs which I always interpreted to say “go ahead and open that store, Emily, what’s stopping you?” 
This is just the beginning of my thank yous to incredible people who have talents where I lack and enthusiasm where I doubt. Thank you, I love sharing this all with you.
But, tonight, to Jackson, a million thank yous again, for creating a kick ass logo (with a few brilliant strokes from Betsy!) that makes me happy every time I see it and for taking a picture of my letter and making it look even better. 

a wee bit of designer appreciation. 

My logo (and web) designer and friend, Jackson, made this whole thing a gazillion times easier by being amenable and energetic and flexible and genuinely interested in what I was creating. I don’t know how this sort of thing (creating a business from virtual scratch) is supposed to work. I do now know that surrounding myself with talented people who I enjoy has yielded good results. 

It doesn’t hurt that I can send Jackson emails at all hours and stop by his house to drop things off, but maybe more to see Laura, who happens to be his fantastic wife who gives me actual and virtual exclamation points of encouragement and we can laze around on the floor chatting about making a store while their baby boy, Gray, gives me smiles and excellent belly laughs which I always interpreted to say “go ahead and open that store, Emily, what’s stopping you?” 

This is just the beginning of my thank yous to incredible people who have talents where I lack and enthusiasm where I doubt. Thank you, I love sharing this all with you.

But, tonight, to Jackson, a million thank yous again, for creating a kick ass logo (with a few brilliant strokes from Betsy!) that makes me happy every time I see it and for taking a picture of my letter and making it look even better. 

3 years ago | 2 notes.
A Grand Opening. Cupcakes & Clementines. Dec 3. 5p-8p. Save the Date!
Clementine has been open for almost 3 weeks and it’s time to make things official. 
You’re invited! 
{I hope you’ll save the Grand Opening Date and join me. But now, it’s Tuesday, my day off and I am so very out of here…}

A Grand Opening. Cupcakes & Clementines. Dec 3. 5p-8p. Save the Date!

Clementine has been open for almost 3 weeks and it’s time to make things official. 

You’re invited! 

{I hope you’ll save the Grand Opening Date and join me. But now, it’s Tuesday, my day off and I am so very out of here…}

3 years ago | 1 note.