Monday, October 17, 2011

"Don't bother me anymore, and don't call me sugar."

I staunchly support the core philosophy behind the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations, primarily the attack on the social and economic inequalities spawned (at least in part) by corporate greed...but I appreciate the practicality of this message even more.
For the Nov/Dec. issue of FOLK Magazine, I had the opportunity to interview Jeanne Oliver, owner of Jeanne Oliver Designs. Based in Colorado and specializing in handcrafted clothing, jewelry, bags, and linens (as well as unique vintage items and mixed media art), Oliver's company embodies the ideas and business practices that undergird FOLK's own core philosophy. Check out the upcoming issue (available at the Cumberland County Public Library in mid-November) for the actual Q & A, but I encourage you to visit her website, online shop, and blog in the meantime.

A little teaser from Jeanne Oliver Designs:
"I grew up watching old movies. I was inspired by the styles and femininity of the past. Nothing seemed more glamorous to me than Vivien Leigh sweeping down a staircase, Grace Kelly wearing white gloves with a black cocktail dress or Audrey Hepburn outside of Tiffany's. Hours were spent designing my own creations and dreaming of wearing all the apparel my fingers could sketch. Today I have the honor of offering you collections of my clothing, bags, art, jewelry and vintage pieces that tell a story. Each piece full of attention to detail and design. My hope is that from the moment you receive an item from my shop that you know it is different from the attention to wrapping, fabrics, embellishments and vintage finds. Whether you are wearing one of my dresses, pieces of jewelry or carrying one of my bags ... I want you to feel beautiful and feminine. Welcome to my shop and I hope you enjoy your visit."

And for the record, Jeanne just happens to be one of the most lovely people with whom I have ever communicated. Her interview responses were thoughtful; her email replies quick; her work, part whimsy, part classic beauty, wholly impressive; and her humbleness, worthy of respect. What a wonderful opportunity for a librarian who, herself, wouldn't mind being Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn for a day.
I am in love with the messenger bag that arrived in my mailbox a few days ago (that she sent simply because), beautifully wrapped with handwritten card in tow. I'm anxious to see what kind of story it will have to tell.




  1. I really like the idea of buying Christmas gifts from a small town venue. You did that last year and came up with very nice and meaningful gifts. I do love the bag from your new friend. It is so well made and very "Grace Kelly" like. You are making some interesting contacts through your work with Folk. I can't wait for the next issue to see what you've been up to.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Mom. You should do that this year! No more trips to Bowling Green!

    You're welcome to borrow the bag anytime. And, when you get a chance, check out Jeanne's website. I think you'd really love a lot of her stuff.

    Lots of love.

  3. We just got home last night and I now have a good internet connection. Thank you for the sweetest of words. I can't wait for the day when I can hug you in person!

  4. I have enjoyed our correspondence so much, Jeanne. I can't wait either!
    And, I'm so excited about my dress:)!

    Thank you for just being a lovely, lovely person:)