Two summers ago I was headed to Positano with my children for a summer vacation. Now, normally, people who go to Positano have been there before or are passing through on tour or are on a honeymoon. I wasn’t any of those. In my mind (the same mind that started HEDGEHOUSE) I was lost in some fantasy day dream about the Amalfi coast. Truth be told, I did not know the difference between Portofino and Positano. They were just names I had seen or heard time after time. Names I associated with wealth, chic style, and ease. They were an idea in my mind. Pieced together from magazine editorials and Pinterest boards. In reality -- I had to bust out a map. All I knew was that they were groovy spots that beautiful glam people went to, had long lunches, drank rosé, were super tan and were deeply connected in. You know, the kind of people that laughed a lot and lived life effortlessly.
Now let me back up a little bit here. I’m not a total rube. I had a clue about Europe and its coastal vacation spots; it’s just that I had never gone on my own. The few times I had gone, I had been a guest. It had all been sorted for me. A friend invited me and flew somewhere and a car picked me up and I just drifted along. None of it was my responsibility. This time I was an adult, on my own, with two small children in tow and it was entirely my responsibility. One more thing -- Preceding this trip, you never would of known that. I delighted in telling people I was headed to Positano with “The Children”… or was it Portofino?
So the day before we left for Italy, I was in the office finishing up some work, the day was over and it was dark and quiet. I had taken care of all the loose ends and well… I was finished. But I couldn’t leave. I was sitting on the banquette, looking around, my mind racing. The office lights were off and what was left of the evening light was coming through the windows and it was very quiet, and there I was. Alone. Scared. Staring at the wall. I was excited, but mostly I was just scared. Like a fan being turned on full tilt - I had this blast of feelings all at once. Who are you? Who are you kidding? Followed by – You deserve this! You know what you’re doing!
I call them the Goods and The Bads. And they usually hit when something real is about happen. So there I was, on the John Darien “Field Bench” in the twilight when the Goods and The Bads hit me, and I happened to be looking at a roll of our Sur La Mer Blue Linen. Now I’m not sure if it was the “chicken or the egg” but I got the idea: I’m going to cut off a yard of that and bring it with me and use it as a towel. Which is exactly what I did. I grabbed the shears and cut off roughly a yard from the Sur La Mer Red and both of our Majorca collections as well. I needed something to carry them in so I balled them up and shoved them into these draw string bags we had made for a test product that we never went with, and man did that turn out to be good idea.
1. Laundry, not such a huge thing in Italy, so I had my own towels!
2. The boat we went on every day provided NO towels so once again we had our own.
3. It was so bloody hot there that I ended up wearing the towels as a skirt half the time because not only does linen let your skin “breathe” it makes a chic wrap.
4. I took some priceless snaps of my children swathed in my textiles!
Positano turned out to be one of our best holidays. I let go of my crazy expectations and just rolled with it. I relaxed. I learned that I’m probably like most people; I don’t like feeling afraid, I want to be liked and I want to feel relevant -- cool even. In the end, I’m just me. And when I let go of all of that and stop worrying so much, I get my best ideas.