The FW19 collection is named after women in my life, past and present, that have influenced and inspired me in one way or another. As I share their attributes with you, I challenge you to begin thinking of the women in your life that have inspired you. I have a feeling you will recognize these qualities because they are often shared in the South among family and friends.
I start with my own mother, Patricia Anne, called Pat by all who know her. She is multi-talented and beyond generous with her talents and her time. I do mean multi-talented, she can garden, sew, design, bake, paint...genius flows from her.
Aunt Willa Lee is famous for her contagious smile. This smile of hers is megawatt bright! Her rheumatoid arthritis did not stop her from being an incredible mother to all six of her outstanding children. The crippling pain she must have felt every day did not dull her smile!
My Aunt Violet managed to raise her four wonderful children while taking the time to show others she cares. If you have suffered a loss or sickness, you can expect an egg custard pie or beef vegetable soup from her. I might also mention that she does all this while dressed to the nines, always stylish!
My paternal grandmother, Clara, was as tenacious and fearless as they come! She loved people and gave of her time, money and even sometimes shared her home with hurting people. She has been known to house a homeless woman or ten over the years. I mean literally taking them into her home and housing them until they could get on their feet again.
My maternal grandmother, Marie, managed to raise all four of her amazing children with a chronic, life-threatening, heart condition. She was a self-taught seamstress and gardener. She made all the family's clothes, including men’s suits! She would often win the garden of the month in her neighborhood. My mom learned from the best!
My maternal great grandmother, Mattie Mae, obtained her driver’s license at the age of 65 and grew or raised her own food. Plucky, determined and self-sufficient are terms that often come up in the conversations we have about Grandmother Johnson. After her retirement, she volunteered full time at a local nursing home where she spent her own money to regularly purchase huge amounts of fruit for the residents. They were not offered fruit at the time and she was concerned for their dietary needs.
All these strong, confident women share their gifts, pursue excellence, never give up, and fiercely love their families. Some have left this earth and some are still here with me...but I think they would all be supportive of my new venture. This is what we do in the south, show up and support each other!