March 11, 2009

That was then...This is now...


So That was me circa 1995... I was the head designer/design director for Lilly Pulitzer... I worked my but off... I designed the garments, the prints, the sweaters... fit them...did specs... drew pictures of what an in store shop would look like, illustrated the line...smiled and spoke at little retail things...even painted windows in the "lilly " spirit... Being the independent spirit that I was... I branched off.. leaving Lilly to start my own line... well... that was double the craziness and then I got pregnant with Jake at the same time and closed it... continued to freelance for Lilly amongst others... moved to NJ... and then...longer story...eventually found clay.












I love clay.... I love putting my hands in... creating something from virtually nothing. It is totally different than fashion design and I NEVER thought I would end up here... my whole adolescence and early adulthood...that was it for me... and I had success with it. I was not a starving artist like many who go into these fields... I was able to get good jobs with benefits and met lovely people along the way...(well... I met un-lovely people too) I worked hard at what I did and when I was done, well...I was done . I have no desire to go back to it... I feel like I could instinctively, jump back in if I needed to. Lucky for me, I don't.

The reason I bring this up is that I got an email Sunday night(I think...) from my friend Ro Schuler... who is now a Vice President at Lilly... she was customer service when we worked together...she stayed, I did not... she wanted me to know that today(Wednesday) The Martha Stewart Show was doing an entire Lilly show... All Lilly, All the time. Also,they were having a big "party" in NYC after and I should come. I thought I'd be in Crested Butte, Colorado with my husband snowboarding so I told her we'd have to catch up another time...I also knew I'd miss the show...

BUT... as luck(?) would have it... Sam got strep throat and so did I and I sent my husband off early this A.M. with our friends... without me... so when the show came on.. at 11 A.M. I watched it.

It was FREAKY for me to watch... You can see the lead in to it HERE. Would that have been me on the show if I stayed with the company? It wasn't meant to be... We moved almost 2 hours away...but closer to NYC(Lilly is outside of Philadelphia)... Especially afer 9/11 I would have had a really hard time with all of the travel away from my 2 kids... (I went to Hong Kong and other places about 3 times a year) Just not meant to be...Not to mention... I don't really "LOOK" like the Lilly customer... their current design director is blond, bubbly and perfect for the part. Don't get me wrong... I'm a lot of fun but now I am me... just me... much truer to myself and I wouldn't have it any other way... I am really happy for Ro and the owners as I always felt they were good guys... and they came to my wedding in Baltimore...the men wearing Lilly bow ties and cummerbunds !!! They worked hard for this recognition... They built the brand... we planted the seed together and I am proud that I was a part of it... but I let go a long time ago.

Now.. I plant new seeds...MY SEEDS...not Lilly's.

18 comments:

  1. Wow, I knew you were involved in fashion and design, but had no idea to what extent! I think that my cousin's girlfriend works at a Lilly Pulitzer store in NJ. I had never heard of them before until last Thanksgiving.

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  2. Jerr.. I wasn't done!!!

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  3. Well, the rest of that story sounds like it was written by a woman who knows who she is, where she is in life and what she wants. It's great that you've had those experiences and have grown from them.

    And I'm sure that we'll be seeing Judi Tavill ceramics on Martha one day, so no worries.

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  4. Unlikely Jerr but you rock!!!

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  5. I can see that background influencing your work! Your pots are so well designed. Isn't it wonderful to find clay?!

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  6. Oh Judy... so nice. The thing is.. I have to force myself to sketch... with clay I just want to do.... with fashion I loved sketching!

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  7. just think of all the beautiful pottery that exists that wouldn't have if you hadn't quit

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  8. Ah jim... so nice of you to say...

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  9. I don't sketch with clay - but design at the wheel or while making -- what is it about clay? And if I do sketch first - I change it at the wheel ??

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  10. You were cutie in 95! I really understand what you mean about being all done with something and moving on... It's a good feeling, but strange when parts of the past show up in the present.

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  11. I for one am glad that you found clay! Your pieces are beautiful!

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  12. Judy- I second that emotion.
    Graciela-Cute? hmmm... Definitely strange.
    Linda- Always a sweetheart!

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  13. nice to meet you Judi! wicked pretty pots and glazes!

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  14. Do you KNOW how much I love their cloths for my girls. If only I could afford them...pretty cool post.

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  15. Yeah for planting your own seeds. Your beautiful green swirly vase looks like a spring sprout.

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  16. Great back story, Judi!! I can see your background influencing your clay work, but not in a Lilly way - you really push your forms and create sketching with all your carving and cutting. :)

    Sorry to hear about the strep...

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  17. There could easily soon be a All Judi, All the Time! I've always said, good design is good design. There is no faking it and clay is now your medium of choice -growing feels good doesn't it?!

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  18. Hi Judi! I am catching up on blog-reading and devoured this posting! It's so weird because I had a dream last night that a publishing/movie house offered me a big marketing job and I was all excited about it -- until I realized I wouldn't be able to walk on the beach trail every morning with my hubby and would have to give up my studio. But I was weirdly conflicted about it in the dream. It's kind of like ego versus soul. What a gift to have the life I do today!

    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself in your blog. I've enjoyed reading it.

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