The following story inspires me and fills me with pride…
Let me introduce you to Eileen:
For several years Eileen and I shared a closet-sized office in Manhattan’s Midtown garment district along with our third team member, Vi Na. We were a mini ideas factory, a calm yet merry trio swimming upstream against 7th Avenue’s rampant commercialism and haute couture levels of diva theatrics.
Our walls we’d pinned with images, swatches, buttons, trims, feathers, ribbons, doodles and strips of fabric torn from vintage dresses.
We sat practically on top of each other surrounded by samples and rolling racks, our noses jammed up against computer screens that I don’t remember ever being cleaned. No cleaner would endanger herself in pursuit of a dustball by clambering over the years of junk that accumulated long before we three came along.
We tripped over boxes every time we exited or entered. It was an obstacle run just to get our Fedex out and our lunch in. If our office was a restaurant it would have been shut down by Heath and Safety. Our boss didn’t care and we were too wrapped up in the pursuit of our ideas to give it much thought.
When we looked out of our window the light was often going down as we worked late into the night to craft prettiness for the world to enjoy. Our specialty was beaded frothiness and technicolor embroideries.
Twelve floors below on West 40th Street, yellow cabs honked and nuts yelled “Move, moron!” to lampposts and the homeless limped along unseen and tourists ate hotdogs like they were delicacies and Manhattan’s stress level threatened to bubble over like Vesuvius and wash us all into the Hudson River.
Three or four times a season Eileen and I hopped on a plane to India, flying coach not business, to set about making the frothy imaginings of our small office a reality.
We liked to joke that we went to India to find some order.
Stories of people living the dream are always heartwarming and Eileen’s is more adorable than most (Check out, George! He’s new). With aplomb, she has cultivated her own very different reality over the last few years, way off Manhattan’s overpopulated grid and free of Delhi’s bustle and dust, but with the same unique style and attention to detail.
Have a glimpse of Eileen in her natural environment in this short video below in which she is interviewed by a local TV station. I hope you enjoy it and feel inspired too.
For more on Little Seed Farm, check out their gorgeous website.
My novel Silk for the Feed Dogs, set in the international fashion industry, where all but goats fear to tread, follows the thorny, briar-twisted winding career path of another farm bred fashion designer and is available here.