Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Evening with Kate

By the age of 12 I had mastered the Red Line on Boston's subway station - could've easily done it by 10 but wasn't allowed past the two stops to Field's Corner Station. At 14 I travelled for the first time on a plane  – alone – to Switzerland to spend 6 weeks with a woman I barely knew - she just happened to be my grandmother. It's a long story. By 21 I had an apartment to myself. Then why is it that 100 hundred years later  – or so it feels – that a trip to Cambridge on a Tuesday night seemed so daunting. 

I had many excuses as to why I shouldn't/ couldn't go. At every red light along Mass Ave I chided myself for not staying in my suburban home, getting into my PJs and playing it safe. When my GPS notified me that I had reached my destination there wasn't a parking spot in sight. I had already given up before I even tried, promising myself that once around the block, if I was still parking spotless I was going home. And then  – a driver pulled out from a spot right in front of me. Fate. Granted, I looked like Austin Powers trying to parallel park the car but I had a spot. You really lose those skills once you leave the city. 

Kate Hines of Kate Hines Jewelry
I was in Cambridge to attend a meeting with the gals of the Design Salon, a group of professional women who make their living in one of the design industries. Last night the speaker was Kate Hines of Kate Hines Jewelry. She's been designing jewelry since the early '80s and is currently working with some top names in women's fashion creating private label jewelry to complement their clothing lines. Trying to build a jewelry business myself, this was incredibly interesting to me – hence the trek to Cambridge.

Not only did she talk about designing, manufacturing and inspiration. She was forthcoming with loads of helpful information and was confident enough to tell us about spills along the way. But what I found really interesting that pertained directly to HomeGrown was how she spoke about the trend towards bringing manufacturing back to American soil and the importance of buying things that are made in the USA. The group marveled at stories of shops where the items contained within were made by hand. I found myself raising my hand like a schoolgirl. I wanted to let everyone in the room know how proud I was to own a shop that is brimming with artist made creations. It's got to start somewhere. 

On the way back down Mass Ave I hit nothing but green lights.

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