Category Archives: Fashion

When one closet closes, another window is opened–Wendy’s Closet Clothes Out

Yesterday marked both an anniversary and the end of an era. Wendy’s Closet in Stowe, Vermont, closed its doors after 24 years (to the day) of business. Those who have shopped at Wendy’s know that her store was so much more than “fabulous” fashions. Her goal has always been to help women feel beautiful and confident in their own skin, and she has empowered women for years to embrace their unique beauty. The energy and love that filled this small shop knew no boundaries.  All who passed through her doors received the utmost service of loving-kindness from Wendy and her staff, or her ‘Angels’ as she liked to refer to them.

I was blessed to be a “Wendy’s Angel” myself, coming to the store in 2008 on a return trip from college. With no summer job prospects, I happened upon Wendy’s looking for a birthday gift for a friend. As a long time customer of the store, Wendy knew my retail history and offered me a job the moment I told her I was looking for work.

Little did I know that this moment would alter the course of my life. Wendy took me in and opened up a world of love, kindness, generosity, loyalty, and spirituality to me. She is truly a guru among humans–humble and noble, fabulous and fashionable. She’s a woman who can throw anything on with a tee-shirt and jeans and make it funky and classy all at the same time. She taught me lessons about self-confidence and the importance of self-love as we played marathons of backgammon, read our horoscopes from the Seven Days and ate cupcakes from Harvest Market.

It was in her very shop that I even landed my current job. I had moved home from living abroad and had little more than two dimes to rub together. I called Wendy, as I always do when I am home and in transition. As expected, she opened her doors wide to me and offered me my coveted job back. I came to work only for the weekend, taking the bus from NYC to Stowe. Some might call it luck, but I call it fate, that on this very weekend back in October of 2013, I helped a customer who would end up offering me a position within a company called Education First, which would eventually launch my career as the Director of the Cultural Care Au Pair Training School.

The path that my life has traveled since that day has everything to do with Wendy’s Closet. All of the lessons I’ve learned over the years from Wendy about facing my fears, taking chances and opening myself up to the gifts of the Universe came to pass under her roof on this fateful day in late October.

Wendy is a woman of strength and character, and has been both a mentor and a dear friend to me. Her store was my haven, a place I called home. I knew it inside out, from the merchandise to her loyal customers. I relished my afternoons working with Wendy and the Angels.

And so, it is with bittersweet emotion that I write this piece. It is difficult to imagine Stowe without Wendy’s Closet, but I, like anyone else who knows Wendy, am certain that whatever this new chapter brings, it’s going to be “fabulous.”

Wendy, these mere words I’ve conjured pale in comparison to the feelings of gratitude and love I feel for you and your store. Thank you for everything, and my best wishes to you in this exciting transition.

Lots and lots of love,

Lizzie

wcvt

 

 

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On Blending in and Making Out

Almost two weeks have passed since I have journeyed over the pond, and though I felt at ease the moment I set foot on French soil, I have noted a couple silly cultural stereotypes that I would like to share:

First, horizontal striped shirts are everywhere. Yes, the typical blue and white sailor shirt is a fave here, and I’m thoroughly pleased that my wardrobe boasts a tank, a tee, and a dress congruent with this fashion statement. Don’t be fooled though, my attempts to disguise myself as “une vrai femme française” are kind of pitiful. Unfortunately, I give myself up the minute I open my mouth and try to gurgle out something that sounds French. But now that I have thoroughly degraded my ability to speak the French language, I would like to add that I am oh-so-effing determined to speak this language. I guess for now, though, I’ll just stay diligent about learning new vocabulary and mastering the verb tenses.


My second observation is about something we all consider French… “the kiss.” Now don’t get your hopes up mom, I’ve yet to kiss any French boys, BUT I have watched so many strangers suck face in public that I decided their liberal views towards PDA (public displays of affection) were another stereotype I had of the French. My sample population may be a bit skewed seeing as I have spent a large portion of my time in airports and train stations, but nonetheless I’ve concluded that these people have no problem playing tonsil hockey in broad daylight. What’s worse, not all of the makeout sessions I’ve witnessed however have been quite as classy as Droisneau’s famous photo.

Anyway, I’ll wrap this up because I am going to go walk around Sète to take some photos. I definitely won’t be blending in with my  comically large camera. But hey, at least I’m wearing stripes…..

Je vous embrasse forte,

Lizzie

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