Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the joys of trade

I spent the weekend working in Los Angeles, and had a chance to go visit my clothing designer friend, Carol Young, at her newly relocated boutique in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles. Her boutique carries her own seasonal clothing line as well as other unusual handcrafted personal and home accessories. It was a mostly pleasure and partly business visit, since I got to hang with Carol at her cool boutique and also stock up her store with some pottery.

Carol and I met years ago when we both had our work in ACCI Gallery in Berkeley. Carol made the best purses and shoulder bags, beautiful things that I could not afford back then. I really needed one of her shoulder bags to honeymoon in Italy with. I could see this bag with every outfit I was planning to bring with me, and I knew if I had this bag I would blend right in with the chic Italian women. I called her up to see if she wanted to trade some of my pottery for that bag, and a beautiful relationship based on trading our work was born. I still have the bag, and a few others from her collection. After almost 5 years, I continue to use them all the time, and people always ask me where they can get one too.

Carol is one of those people where you wonder if she has an extra twelve hours in the day that you don't have. Not only does she run her boutique by herself, she does all the design, cutting, and sewing of her work, with only sporadic help. Not to mention a patient & loving husband, a dog, and a house! Carol is a member of my tribe: still young, driven, ambitious, and talented. We always talk about how to continue to follow our artistic visions, yet still make money and be organized in our business. This is a never-ending conversation with all of my artist friends who make a living off their art. Here she is on a Sunday in her production area located in the back of the boutique, talking to a customer and laying out patterns.

Carol's hard work pays off though. I whirled around her boutique, trying on every item, while she went through bins of my pottery to sell at her store. Since Carol moved from the Bay Area to Los Angeles back in 2003, I don't get to see her very often, and it's been a while since I've had an opportunity to see her clothes in person and put them on. Her clothing is so wearable, so comfortable and stylish. Carol also makes it a priority to work with sustainable and recycled fabrics, very satisfying to my tree hugging self. I walked away with two new pairs of pants and three tops to add to my collection of Carol Young wear. If you live in the L.A. area, stop by to see Carol, and buy some of my pottery from her so I can get more clothes!
Store: Carol Young
Address:1953 1/2 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Website: undesigned.com