From her early days working at Willow, to present day living in Dallas, this successful lady runs her own digital marketing company (not to mention interviews top fashion moguls like Kelly Wearstler and Aerin Lauder), Haley talks with Celia about her life as a Texan and memories of being a Willow girl.
What do you remember about Willow way back in the day?
When I began working at Willow in the summer of 2007, it had the same modern southern style it emanates today. It’s a perfect mix of old and new, traditional and contemporary. Willow offers wearable clothing that can take you from lunch with friends, to an afternoon at the beach, and dinner by the Caliza pool or a night at the symphony back home in the city. There are many stores in destination towns that sell clothing that just really fit the style of the town. You may purchase pieces there where it feels right and then get back home and think, what in the world did I buy? Willow is not like this. I still wear some of the things I purchased at Willow while working there! These include: a graphic Tibi top, a leopard Tibi dress, a Lauren Moffatt navy silk button-front dress, and a pair of the most comfortable Eberjey pajamas ever (that get better with age).
One other amazing thing to note about Willow, is Cindy & Celia’s incredible taste in music! I immediately knew we were going to get along just fine when I was shown the official Willow playlist on the store iPod. When I turned it on and spent my days working to the sounds of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Taj Mahal, Van Morrison, and more, I realized these girls had incredible taste all around. I would still love to hear that original Willow playlist again (spotify? *hint, hint).
What is the same, if anything about Willow, from back in your day in 2007?
I noticed right away that the store still has wonderful customer service. Celia & Cindy treat everyone who walks into her store so graciously. It’s wonderful to see someone stop anything they are doing to serve a customer. It’s sad that in today’s world, even in the service industry, customer service is often horrific. Additionally, the store is approachable. You walk in and feel the ease and comfort of beach chic shopping. And, I love the Kelly Wearstler vibe in the boutique!
What do you love most about 30a?
This could truly be a book of its own, but I love the mix of high and low that 30a offers. It’s the perfect balance of high style with accessibility. You are thoroughly immersed in design as you travel down 30a from every angle and its very detail oriented. Off of 30a, even the manholes are decorated! Yet, it has a wonderful personality – it’s stylish and smart, but down-to-earth and laid-back. The people of 30a come from all over and they offer warm, hospitable southern charm. I learn something new on every visit – whether it’s from the architecture, interior design, restaurants, stores, or the people. It’s always changing and progressing, while not forsaking its identity. It also is health conscious and offers a variety of opportunities for recreation (bike riding, yoga, kayaking, pilates) and environmentally conscious (natural preservation) – which is important to me.
And, as a strong supporter of small businesses, I do love that there aren’t any chains and few high-rises! It’s refreshing.
How did you end up in Dallas?
As a Gemini, I am always battling the sign of the twins. Part of me wants to live a quiet life on the beach and the other part of me wants to live in a big city where I can walk to work. As for Dallas, I was living this wonderful, quiet life by the beach and working at Willow when I was offered the opportunity to interview to work for Mark Cuban at HDNet and HDNet Movies in Dallas. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever have the chance to do something like it again, so I gave it a try. Although I am no longer at that company, I am still in Dallas where I write locally and own and operate my own digital marketing company. Every time I visit the beach, I think about what it would be like to move back and who knows – I may end up on 30a again someday!
Who are some people you have interviewed?
I have had short interviews and long interviews, but I’ve certainly interviewed a wide range of individuals! A few of the ones that have stood out to me are: Garance Doré, Aerin Lauder, Prabal Gurung, Kelly Wearstler, Candace Bushnell, Manolo Blahnik, Dylan Lauren, Inès de la Fressange, Brad Goreski, Rachel Ashwell, Charlotte Dellal (of Charlotte Olympia), Christian Siriano, Tata Harper (skincare), and Paul Andrew (his shoes are INCREDIBLE).
Who are you fav designers?
I honestly feel like these change more frequently than I’d like, but my list right now is: Celine, Frame Denim, Delpozo, Veronica Beard, rag & bone, Figue, The Row, Rebecca Taylor, Stella McCartney, & Etoile Isabel Marant.
How would you describe 30a fashion?
I think 30a has a mix of fashion, but I would describe it as beach chic. I think it’s something that can take you stylishly from the patio at George’s to the beach chair. I love the hippie chic style and bohemian feel of 30a as well. It has a vintage feel with lots of fringe, hats, and fun accessories.
What do you love most about fashion week?
The energy! The music, the lights! You don’t think it’s possible for you to make it to all in one day, but the energy of the city and the shows and the people around you keep you moving! Everything is fast paced and its awesome to see favorite designers, celebrities, and revered fashion journalists you run place to place.
Do you keep up with Willow ?? IG, FB etc??
Yes! I am eagerly awaiting the launch of the e-commerce website. I follow the Facebook account, Instagram, and LOVE the blog!
What designer would you love to see in Willow that we don’t have?
Love Willow lines and See by Chloe, rag & bone, Etoile Isabel Marant, Veronica Beard, Frame denim, and Figue would all be great fits for Willow!
What is your fav post you have done on N/S? (Haley’s blog)
I loved meeting and interviewing India Hicks right off 30A in Alys Beach! (link to > http://nonsensesensibility.com/blog/2011/08/india-hicks-trunk-show/)
These are books that will be in my beach bag this summer: Frog Music (link com to > http://www.amazon.com/Frog-Music-Novel-Emma-Donoghue/dp/031632468X), The Goldfinch (link to > http://www.vogue.com/culture/article/pulitzer-prize-2014-fiction-donna-tartt-goldfinch/#1), and Seaside frequenter, & Julia Reed’s “But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry”
(link to > http://www.amazon.com/But-Mama-Always-Vodka-Sangria/dp/1250019044).
What are your favorite 3 summer trends??