Decades of Design
Episode 5: 2010-Present INNOVATIVE
Life comes full circle and I move back to the suburbs seeking a quieter life, a refocused design business, and an urge to seek out new ways to grow. A unique prospect presents itself at a local downtown establishment, the Andover Bookstore. Unbeknownst to me, not only is it the oldest continually running independent bookstore in the USA, but it also had an apparel section! Owner John Hugo calls in on this segment to speak on how he offered me the role of managing and growing the stores annex of Phillips Academy clothing and gifts. There I was contracted to expand the existing in-store academy merchandise, improve its web presence, and develop a marketing strategy, a position that offered me a challenge to learn a new aspect of the apparel world, and an opportunity to make new connections - exactly what I needed at the time. Eventually, that experience sparked a third business for me, the Andover Collection LLC, a retail store featuring Phillips Academy and Andover clothing and gifts. Soon after purchasing that establishment in early 2020 – Covid hit a few weeks later! Meanwhile, my design business had been taking on a new phase, working with industrial designers. This transition brought an opportunity into the world of soft goods – (soft products produced from textiles) where my design work took a 360 from creating the lighthearted costumes and kitschy lingerie pieces of the 80’s to the sophisticated and precision crafted medical and military soft goods of the present day or as I like to say, “from jockstraps to Patriot missiles!” Here, once again my patternmaking, and sewing skills were challenged as well as my cherished sewing machine by creating soft good components for products in the medical, fitness, furniture, military and other additional new fields. Lastly, an idea to create a patent pending product – not related to clothing at all – leads me to learning new aspects about a different field. It all comes together as I work, evolve, and continue designing my life.