After five years at the helm of Garland Collection, designing fine jewelry and now curating vintage costume jewelry, home accessories and objets, it seemed that to understand the lifestyle reflected by the company is to also understand the life and style of the person behind the brand. For example, what kind of person would design classic gold engraved nameplates…and also offer wiener dog condiment dishes to boot?

A style writer-editor-designer-curator who serendipitously (also known as “by accident”) created an endeavor that’s both chic and quirky, built on family (Garland is my grandparents’ last name), and inspired by a life well loved and lived.

To understand my style…

If Liberace and Audrey Hepburn had a love child at Woodstock, who was raised by Annie Hall and Slim Aarons…well, that would probably be me –  classic, but eclectic!

How I dress…My day bag is either a monogrammed Goyard or a monogrammed LL Bean Boat n’ Tote. Classic is what counts… and I’d monogram the dog if I could. Smoking slippers are the best things that have happened to me and I never saw a bow I didn’t like. I also own red pigskin pants and think that leopard is a primary color. Bergdorfs and Home Depot are my two favorite stores…literally. I wear enough fine jewelry at any given moment to rival Mr. T…and because I’m a firm believer in more is more (and layering high and low!), my trademark vintage costume rams head bangles usually finish the job.

How I decorate…first and foremost, with a lot of orange. No, really. It’s out of control. Throw in some Hollywood Regency gilt (see Liberace) and a couple of African safari masks and ephemera, add a dash of bohemian (we have a teepee in our living room) and place a couple of carefully chosen 1950s hostess-with-the-mostest cheeky table settings at arms reach and you’re almost halfway there. (See layering).

How I live…Travel and food, like many of us these days, is on the top of my list. We’ve honeymooned in South Africa, gone on safari in Botswana, fished off the coast of Belize, and will take a good ‘ol fashioned USA road trip anytime, anywhere. Buying trip to Cleveland, anyone? Seriously. We (my hubby and kids, who are too young to have a choice) think that’s fun.

I love to throw a good dinner party, not just because I take out my aggression and clear my head in the kitchen, but also because I like to set a really nice table (See: owl placecards). I also love my friends, and laughing with them over good food (well, most of the time) around a dinner table is one of life’s greatest elixirs. But I am an honest foodie. When my husband and I returned to our honeymoon suite after our glamorous NYC wedding, our bed was not sprinkled with rose petals, but Skittles. Everyone knows that they are the way to my heart. I think they are a food group and keep them in the center console of my car so that they are accessible on the return from my daily morning workouts.

How I love…I have a loving husband that I met as a twelve-year-old at sleepaway camp (chorus of  “oooohhhhs”) and twin one-year-old sons, fondly known as Sweetlips and The Bean, that are making it their duty to destroy all of the above (hence the teepee in the living room). A camp photograph when we were eleven and twelve (yes, I am the older woman) foreshadows the marital relationship to come. It was the cast of that summer’s spectacular, “Barnum”. He is in a top hat and tux because he is of course PT Barnum. I am in a leotard and the cape from last summer’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” (very chic, actually) because I played “Acrobat” and was to cartwheel behind him as he so fittingly sang, “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute.” He continues to live his life center stage (he tore off all of his clothes and crawled around the floor naked when he had kidney stones, for example…before saying goodbye to himself in the mirror…because a barbaric striptease always heightens the drama. You understand.), while I remain his trusty sidekick (ie. calmly packed up his insurance card, Vogue, and a bag of Skittles (see above) and took him to the hospital). When I say “sidekick” I mean, he couldn’t change a lightbulb without me (see Home Depot). Lola, our Cavalier King Charles, and the official unofficial spokesperson for Garland Collection, is at the center of our world. We also think she can talk and you will hear from her often. (See: Oh, Lola!)

Basically, I take my family and friends seriously (most of the time), and the rest is just for kicks.

Garland has ultimately grown into a reflection of all of these things – my style, design sensibility, family, quirkiness (OK, awkwardness), discoveries, mishaps and misadventures in the kitchen and beyond, and fun with it all. Fabulous and messy…hence, Up Chic’s Creek.

Up Chic’s Creek is now the destination for the life and style, news, and inspiration behind Garland Collection.

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