Category Archives: Plucky Pioneers

My Dream Holiday Outfit…

Hope you’ll all swing by the darling Thistle & Clover blog to check out my guest post on my “dream holiday outfit.”  I put the collage together all by myself in Pages (the Mac equivalent to Microsoft Word) and am quite proud of how it turned out (don’t ask how long it took me…).  Seriously though, aren’t those ear muffs the cutest?  Thank you to the awesome shop owners (and former Plucky Pioneers) Rand and Camilla — I’m so tickled to have been asked!

Announcing…

Greetings from San Francisco, New York and Kansas City!

It is with great excitement I announce that in January 2011 my dear friend Jane Lilly Warren and I are launching a new monthly lifestyle publication titled Matchbook: Field Guide to a Charmed Life. Each digital issue we look forward to celebrating the classics (shaken and stirred!) in our own unique fashion with delectable bites of style, beauty, decor, travel, and culture. The darling Fallon Hogarty has become our right-hand-gal as we organize the spectacular line-up for our premier issue. I’ve been pinching myself the entire process and it’s only just begun! I do hope you’ll join us on this grand adventure by following us on Twitter and “liking” us on Facebook. I can’t wait to share this surreal experience with you every step of the way! The Matchbook team believes there ought to be a destination for campfires, confetti, and joie de vivre in the virtual world — and we’re setting out to create it.

Feel free to snatch the image above and spread the news! None of this would have ever been possible without your support. Thank YOU for helping to make this Neo-Trad’s dreams come true!

From lipstick to letterpress, gelato to grosgrain, and Paris to Peru, consider us your field guide to a charmed life!

Plucky Pioneer No. 17

Please welcome our latest batch of Plucky Pioneers, sisters Beth Salvini and Amy Swanson of New York’s charming Greenwich Letterpress.  When I lived back east their darling shop/studio in the West Village was one of my regular haunts and I just know you’ll adore them.  Enjoy!

Five words used to describe yourself.

Beth: Sarcastic, sensitive, determined, confused, and creative.

Amy: Creative, cooperative, sarcastic, entertaining, and enthusiastic (aka sometimes unintentionally loud).

What inspires you creatively?

Beth: Television, humor, my cat, magazines, John Hughes, art and music.

Amy: Pop culture, photography, vintage illustrations, traveling, paper and fonts (I am a font geek).

Who were/are your design mentors?

Beth: My parents were the first people in my life that were always doing creative/artistic things—I’m positive it rubbed off on me.

Amy: Our parents were always supportive of any creative endeavor we wanted to pursue.  We grew up in a creative household which I think made my sister and I go in the direction we did.

How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?

Beth: Yard sale chotsky chic with some Beverly Hills 90210 thrown in.

Amy: We use a mix of contemporary and vintage graphics which lend themselves well to the old-fashioned quality of letterpress printing.

What propelled you to found your own company?

Beth: The idea of working with my sister and getting to carry on the family tradition of being printing entrepreneurs.

Most glamourous part of owning your own company?

Beth: Getting to make most of the decisions, no matter how hard they might be & having creative control is pretty priceless.

Amy: Probably the most important perk to me is having complete creative control over your designs.

Least glamourous part of owning your own company?

Beth: You take work home at the end of the day. I tell my friends it’s like having a baby that never grows up.

Amy: Working constantly, blurring the lines between work and home.

Best business advice you’ve been given?

Beth: Take ownership of everything you do.

Amy: Do not take everything so personally.

Creative businesswoman you admire?

Beth: Martha Stewart, Chandra Greer and my mom.

Amy:  My mom, she’s got the goods.

What keeps you organized and on task?

Beth: Owning a shop that is open to the public makes you realize how on point you need to be, it can feel like your mistakes are on display.

Moment you knew you’d “made it”?

Beth: Recently i’ve met some new people who I vaguely described the shop to and turns out they were already fans, after 5 years it still feels weird when someone says, “you mean Greenwich Letterpress is your shop!?”

Amy: Being featured in the TASCHEN’s New York book was an real honor for us.

Describe your typical work day…

Beth: coffee, emails, blogs, designing & finding and supporting new artists to carry in the shop. On a great work day all of my favorite customers come in to gossip.

Amy: Purchase a very large coffee, check emails, go over project list, design, figure out which lunch delivery we are getting, check out some favorite blogs, then back to work….

Your dream project?

Beth: Collaborating with other artists or companies. Projects that allow you to use your design aesthetic and apply it to something that might be outside of yourself or take you out of your comfort zone.

Amy: To have more time to work on products for the shop. Designing our card line has been a dream project for me.

What goals do you have for your business in the future?

Beth: We just renovated our space and I hope to continue to offer a unique and fun shopping experience for everyone that comes in. My sister and I also have big ideas for growing our own line of cards and gifts.

Advice to other budding creative entrepreneurs?

Beth: It’s hard work, so make sure you’re ready and try to keep your sense of humor when times get tough. If you can make it work, it’s a fun life.

Amy: As long as you love what you do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else all of the hard work is worth it.

Thank you Amy and Beth! Stop in tomorrow to see a Greenwich Letterpress cheat sheet by my Plucky Partner, the talented Jane Lilly Warren!

Plucky Pioneer No. 16

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Morning loves!  I’m so excited to be reigniting the Plucky Pioneer series today with the oh-so-charming Southern Proper.  I have long admired the company’s selection of preppy chic aesthetic and their Town & Country inspired fall campaign (pictured above) left me weak in the knees.  Founded by friends Emmie Henderson Howard and Reagan Howell, the company sells an array of southern-inspired clothing, bow ties, neckties and accessories.  Without further ado, here’s Emmie!

Five words used to describe yourself.

Authentic, Grateful, Steadfast, Southern and Social

What inspires you creatively?

Guys in Ties, Alliteration, Old Dirt Roads, Vintage Books, Handwritten Notes, Plaids and Ginghams, Strolls through Southern University Campuses, Dear Friends, Soirees with Champagne, The Derby, Country Clubs, Creative Cocktails

Who were/are your design mentors?

Truly my design mentors come from all walks of life….from our Southern Proper designer and Chocolate Butterbean Entrepreneur, Joni Lay, to my mother, the librarian, who wins teacher of the year almost every year for her creativity and love for children! I also get a ton of design inspiration from icons such as Ralph Lauren, Chris Knott of Peter Millar, Kate Spade, J. Crew.

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How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?

Tried and True. Crisp and Refreshing. Draped in New Fashion trends and blended with Old Fashioned Traditions.

What propelled you to found your own company?

Adoration for a well dressed guy in a brightly colored bowtie, bit loafers- no socks, and a seersucker suit!

Most glamourous part of owning your own company?

Brainstorming and Creating new collections every single day…along with the chance of knowing that I could possibly bump into someone wearing our product anywhere in the world at anytime!

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Least glamourous part of owning your own company?

Piles of Paperwork and Boring Bookkeeping.

Best business advice you’ve been given?

You have to do business with people you trust….but it never hurts to keep their credit card on file!

Creative businesswoman you admire?

Mireille Guiliano and Kate Spade

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What keeps you organized and on task?

A huge dry erase board with important dates, addresses, pricing formulas, etc. Along with personalized jotter cards that I carry with me everywhere I go for notes and to-do lists!

Moment you knew you’d “made it”?

Our first Southern Proper features in Southern Living and Garden & Gun magazines! It was in print for all the world to see!

Describe your typical work day…

At Southern Proper every day is anything but typical! We are always on the go with meetings, travel, product development and fun! But there’s one thing you can count on every single day, we are always dressed preppy whatever the occasion!

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Your dream project?

Partnering with an iconic brand such a Ralph Lauren on a Specialized Southern Collection. Or developing our own reality TV show to help gentlemen every look and act their best!

What goals do you have for your business in the future?

Our long term goal for Southern Proper is to be the leading lifestyle brand in the southern region, dressing men from head to toe! We not only want our customers look the best in the world, but be the best for the world too by portraying to lifestyle and tradition of the South.

Advice to other budding creative entrepreneurs?

Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, always utilize your resources, and lead with your heart!

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Thank you Emmie!  Be sure to check in tomorrow to see the Southern Proper Cheat Sheet—Emmie’s top picks for film, travel and more!