Lady Hannah Rules
Past and Present at Paces Ferry Place
Plans - what plans? Leaving Bloomingdale's and New York City was not well thought out. My departure was an impulsive reaction to work burnout. Although I gave ample notice, I did not strategize my next steps. I was a do-then-deal person: a significant character flaw. It was not uncommon for me to allow an emotion to simmer, then bam - do it! And if I landed in chaos, it was my responsibility to navigate towards a sound resolution. Migraines, angst, and tears were a part of my life.
Where do I land? Atlanta, Georgia.
I arrive for an impromptu visit with my older twin sisters Carolyn and Marilyn - never did I consider moving there. New York City was my home. However, if I were to move anywhere, it would be Paris. I lived there before NYC and loved it.
My life in and the exodus from France is a story in itself and for another time.
I am with my sisters driving slowly throughout Buckhead. It is spring, and the beautiful landscapes seduce me. We enter a quaint European-style shopping complex with a cobblestone hardscape tucked peacefully away from the main roads. I see a charming space that screams my name. I easily conceptualize my new world Past and Present: 1990-2006.
I sign a lease, travel internationally for merchandise, and promptly open. Creating specialty boutiques and transforming environments were part of my responsibility at Bloomingdale's, so the birth of Past and Present naturally evolves effortlessly.
If only I remained Past and Present at Paces Ferry Place. What if this were my umbrella from which everything operated? Looking back, I love the idea. Did I expand too swiftly? Yes. Did I have the infrastructure? No.
It is normal to dwell on past mistakes, but overall, my business was a success. Oddly I think more about the original quaint 1800 square foot duplex shop than the expansion to international showrooms and boutiques in other cities.
As for the special standout memory, it was Wine in the Window on Friday evenings. Lady Hannah, the shop's mistress, would lay comfortably nearby our gathering on top of a stack of three antique down-filled Aubusson pillows. I purchased each exclusively for her at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. Was she spoiled? Absolutely!
As I remember Past and Present, I have one main regret. I let a dear devoted friend and valuable employee leave the company. I listened to unfounded gossip rather than researching and understanding the facts. Until the day of his departure, he helped me grow the company. Had he stayed, we could have become partners in time - only I was blind to this possibility - He was not.
While I mourned his absence and the many possibilities we could have created, he moved on to new ventures and triumphs. Yes, I cheered for him but berated myself for my lack of wisdom and empathy.
A Vignette Featuring: The Madura Daybed
Antiques and One-Of-A-Kind Decorative Accessories
In Memory of Pat, who died of Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)