“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” – Sandra Day O’Connor
Fall brings with it a desire for cozier styles, comfier fabrics, and warmer tones and hues. There’s nothing like fall weather to bring back memories of growing up in the Midwest with crisper temperatures and the changing colors of the leaves. Fall meant back to school shopping, football games, and wool sweaters. Relocating to LA just over 7 years ago, it took some time to transition to a different kind of fall with palm trees and sandy beaches but I soon learned that didn’t stop a Cali girl from dressing for cooler temperatures!
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this summer, I had the pleasure of a dream trip to the East Coast to interview a woman I’ve long admired, Oprah collaborator and Coach on Call, Cheryl Richardson. My trip to Newburyport, MA and the pleasure of staying at the lovely Essex Street Inn, was actually a series of connections from my Fierce Sister, Susan Kanoff and an introduction to the Inn’s General Manager, Alexander Thompson. You could consider Alexander the Mayor of Newburyport as he seems to know everyone and everyone knows him! He rolled out the royal carpet for my stay at his lovely hotel and couldn’t have made the time any more enjoyable. If you’d like to find out more about this special gentleman, check out this article in North of Boston Business on Alexander where you’ll learn that in addition to running one of the best Inns on the East Coast, he also puts in 30 hours a week as a Special Boston Police Officer!
Now, I’d like to connect you to my beautiful friend and her dream to empower women: Susan Kanoff, Founder of The Midlife Fashionista and Uncommon Threads Boutique located a hop, skip, and a jump from the hotel in Lawrence, MA. Susan is a natural born connector with a heart of gold. Her mission at Uncommon Threads is to help disadvantaged women look and feel beautiful using the medium of fashion. Her approach is both “outside in and inside out” as there’s nothing like beautiful fashion to build confidence and self-esteem. Susan swung by the Inn to pick me up to spend a day with her at Uncommon Threads. It’s a personal experience everyone should have to see first hand how fashion can transform a woman in an instant. I had the honor of working with a couple of clients who had signed up for a styling session. The session would begin with a warm greeting, an in-depth personal intake to get a sense of a woman’s style and sizing and then, onto choosing 4 different looks to add to her wardrobe. There’s a volunteer team and staff who assist Susan and support her vision. Lawrence is an area that has its share of poverty and the women couldn’t be more grateful for the services Susan and her team provide.
I had no idea what to expect and I was absolutely blown away by my experience. The shop is impeccably run and the clients are treated to a first-class shopping extravaganza. One thing I didn’t expect was the Uncommon Closet Boutique that’s part of Uncommon Threads. It’s the shop that’s open to the public and right next door to Uncommon Threads. It’s filled to the brim with the latest fashion, a huge selection of top designers, and most items with their price tags still on. After a day of helping clients find their perfect look, the team and I made our way over to Uncommon Closet and began a guiltless shopping fest. We furiously made our way through the racks of clothing as Susan would bring in boxes of brand new styles from a brand I had not heard of before, Ecru. Now, I’ve been around fashion since I was a young girl and it’s not that often that a designer isn’t on my radar. You should have seen this pack of grown women “oohing and ahhing” over every single piece. If we were any younger, we might have broken into a rumble as the clothes were samples and there was only one of each!
Suede has always been a classic favorite of mine. It’s a fabric that can easily be worn from one season to the next and lasts years, if not decades. I spotted this grey suede beauty in the most unlikely of spaces. Spotting this grey suede beauty in the bottom of a bottomless box, it had my name on it. You know that love at first sight thing? Yep…that was it…love at first sight and double love at first wear! It looks great as a jacket that’s left open and doubles as a suede shirt when buttoned up. There’s the loveliest drawstring detailing along the sides. The beauty of purchasing at Susan’s Uncommon Closet is you can find the latest designer fashion at a fraction of the retail price. Most styles were marked down by 80 percent. You should have seen this group of grown women acting like a giggly bunch of little kids! Susan opened box after box of clothing, generously donated by Ecru. Gorgeous silk blouses, embroidered tops, sumptuous leathers, and suedes, it was a feast for both the eyes and the pocketbook. My Fierce sister, Rosie Dalton of The Midlife Aesthetic, joined in the fun. Rosie lives about an hour outside of Lawrence and I was so touched to have her with us. She’s pure delight and one of the brightest spirits around. Rosie and I would take turns in the makeshift dressing room, in search of the perfect look. By the end of the day, I had scooped up a range of styles from Ecru: A beautiful floral blouse, this grey suede jacket, a silk off the shoulder blouse, an embroidered peasant top and a frilly, feminine blouse. Who can resist 5 things for the price of one? Not me. And, the most beautiful part is that the money goes to support Susan’s cause and mission, Uncommon Threads. If you’d like to support Susan and all the amazing women she assists, please consider a donation to Uncommon Threads! Cheers Beauties!