I met Zandra the day I dropped off my then 3-year old son for his first day of Pre-school. I was still seeking out that balance between my artistic life and motherhood and was eager to find connections that spoke to both. Zandra walked up with her son in tow. She was confident and relaxed and COVERED in paint. My first thought was, “ I HAVE to know this girl!” I’d soon find out that she was a serial interior painter. I’ve lost track of the number of colors she has painted her house in the past 6 years ... but I’ve LOVED every hue. On our next encounter, Zandra approached me while I was carrying one of my bag designs from my fledgling business, Simply June. She wanted to know WHERE I got it. After telling her I made it, she immediately invited herself over to my house to see what else I was up to! That’s Zandra! She is connected, confident and inspired. She is drawn to design and lives it. From transforming her closet into an apartment as a child to her attention to detail in every corner of her home ... there is a story and sense of connection spoken. She and her husband Pete collect original artwork which inspires stories shared of not only the artists lives, but how each piece became a part of theirs. Her own designs share her sense of humor, imagination and curiosity in life. I highly recommend hanging out with someone whose collages depict pigs in teacups and sea captains riding giant fish!
Zandra is also an intuitive friend. She knows when to cheer for you as well as when to come up along side you and support you. Her delight over the details in life lead to shared squeals of excitement (of which my son does a spot on impression). She is also an incredible writer - her transparency and excitement jump off the page. She lives her words and therefore transports you to where she is. She invites you to that place of creativity and thoughtfulness. I am going to be waiting in anticipation with all of you as to where she takes us next!
Karen June Grant
This is my friend and business partner, Karen June Grant. Karen is one of those people who walks through a store and says, “Oh, don’t buy that! I can just make one for you!” She can whip up something using needle and thread, glue and paper, ribbon and beeswax… and to add insult to injury to the rest of us mere mortals, she is an ace graphic designer. Our beautiful website? Yep, that’s Karen. But the really cool thing is that when she makes something you are blown away by her craftsmanship and attention to detail. She’s that person in my life who, when she shows up with a surprise gift she’s made, I practically jump out of my skin in excitement. I just know it’s going to be THAT good.
When we met in 2007, Karen had already started her business, Simply June. She sewed, crocheted, and embroidered gorgeous pieces of art, jewelry and household goods. She and her husband had also recently adopted their son from Russia. Having him has been an inspiration to her, both to be the best at whatever she does, as well as clarifying her values and priorities. One of those priorities is to be the primary steward of her family home Greece. It’s a little crazy trying to renovate and care-take from Boston, but the community of Arfara is deeply part of who she is and gives her work and life a particular perspective that I love.
What else do I love about Karen? She’s effusive in her praise of anything that excites her so that being around her is like getting a free and legal shot of “happy” drugs. She’s incredibly generous with sharing her time, talent and energy. She’s one of the most articulate people I know, which is how you can tell she’s really smart. And her personal style is to die for.