Throw an Incredible Holiday Party with the Help of the Macy’s Culinary Council

Throw an Incredible Holiday Party with the Help of the Macy’s Culinary Council

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Who doesn’t appreciate a good party this time of year? Holiday parties are times for families to celebrate, for co-workers to grow a little closer, and for friends to spend the night making merry. From the décor you feature to the dishes you serve, each decision affects the ambiance and mood of the party.

To ensure you have a festive, fun, and of course delicious time, we enlisted the help of the Macy’s Culinary Council members for top tips and delicious recipes. Their menu suggestions, centerpiece ideas, and foolproof party “musts” are applicable for any ambitious host or hostess. Just check out what they had to say about top holiday entertaining!

On the Décor:

“I like unscented tall candles as they add a nice light, and I also love to use colorful patterned plates and bowls and mix-and-match. It makes the table more engaging for guests and looks great.”

— Marcus Samuelsson

“I like to wrap a bunch of ornaments in the middle of the table with guests’ names on them. That way, it decorates the table, and gives everyone a little present to open when they take their seats.”

— Stephanie Izard

“I like mixing and matching produce I used in the meal to form a centerpiece. I’ll buy more than I need and then throw the leftover fruit and vegetable into a vase.”

— Takashi Yagihashi

“My favorite centerpieces are mismatched bud vases, and by all means keep them low so you can see your guests. I also enjoy offering two or three vintages of the same wine for great discussions.”

— Tom Douglas

On the Menu:

“In the wintertime, and especially around the holidays, I make a big pot of my favorite recipe for Swedish mulled wine called Glögg, with Port or madeira wine that's been infused with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, orange and more. It's warming and delicious.”

— Marcus Samuelsson

“The holiday season is crazy enough. No need to sweat a last-minute gathering (sometimes they can be the most fun!). I just plan ahead. I prep a cranberry-ginger syrup that's easily mixed with any sparkling wine for a festive cocktail. Crème de Cassis is also on hand for Kir Royales. For food, my freezer is stocked with frozen dumplings and shumai — crowd pleasing treats that are a snap to heat and enjoy.”

— Ming Tsai

“For cocktails, I love Manhattans and it’s usually a crowd pleaser. Guys like bourbon and Manhattans are a little sweet so the ladies could drink it, too. My go to dish is sautéed chicken livers with bacon, water chestnuts, and a port wine reduction.”

— Takashi Yagihashi

The Go-To Party Tip:

“A really important pre-party step is compiling a great playlist — I make sure I have the music playing as my guests arrive and through the evening. It's fun to pick the best songs to fit the occasion!”

— Marcus Samuelsson

“If you're hosting a seated dinner, make it potluck style. If you're hosting, make the main dish and asking all of your guests to bring the rest. It's a great conversation starter at the party, makes eating more fun and personal, and puts less pressure on the host so they can enjoy their party with family and/or friends!”

— Stephanie Izard

“Serving food with toothpicks or on a skewer is my go-to for parties because most people will have a drink in their hand so I don’t want to serve anything that will require silverware.”

— Takashi Yagihashi

Need some menu inspiration? Here are some recipes from Macy’s Culinary Council to help you out:


· Chef Rick Bayless
Avocado-Dressed Shrimp à la Mexicana
This fresh and zesty dish never fails to disappoint. Your guests will love this simple party food, and you’ll love making it!

· Chef Takashi Yagihashi
This delightful appetizer will please any guest. The hearty quail eggs topped with the salty green olives provide complex and delicious flavors you don’t find at the “average” cocktail party.

· Chef Ming Tsai
Smashed Shrimp Shumai
Great for a party appetizer or an intimate dinner, this delicious shumai will delight all of your guests. This easy and flavorful recipe is loaded with simple, fresh ingredients will please any crowd.

Entrées and Sides:

·Chef Michelle Bernstein
Perfect Poached Eggs with Cheddar-Chive Grits and Crispy Ham
Don’t be intimidated by poached eggs. This recipe shows you how to perfect poach them and has creative and flavorful sides that will be a total hit at your next brunch

·Chef Mark Forgione
Red-wine Braised Short Ribs
Short ribs are always an excellent menu choice for a classic holiday dinner. The Port wine reduction and garlic butter enhance the natural flavors in the red meat, bring you and your dinner guest an natural and delicious entrée.

· Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Habesha Lamb Chops
One of the best things about cooking with lamb is that it is capable of taking on and complementing a variety of flavors. The chutney that tops this grilled lamb pairs with the meat perfectly, while the whole milk yogurt marinade adds a delectable texture to the entrée.

· Chef Todd English
Quail with Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
Cornbread stuffing is an absolute classic during the holidays, from Thanking to New Year’s Day. With the addition of ingredients like quail eggs and sausage, you can take the cornbread stuffing to a whole new level and make a new tradition for your family to enjoy.

· Chef Tom Douglas
Seared Rare Duck Breast with Duck-fried Jo Jo’s
For a hearty holiday meal, skip the roast beast and go for something a little more indulgent. Seared duck paired with heart potatoes is just what Santa would want you to eat!

·Chef Nancy Silverton
Beet Salad with Marinated Radicchio and Fresh Goat Cheese
Who says that the holiday have to be unhealthy? This simple marinated beet salad has all of the charm of the season without the scary calorie count. This is a perfect recipe to kick off a holiday meal or to pass around a party.


·Chef Stephanie Izard
Pecan Not Pie
The holidays are so hectic, who doesn’t need a simple and delicious recipe in their baking arsenal? This no-bake topping is perfect for a holiday dessert bar and takes almost no time to prepare.

· Chef Johnny Iuzzini
Pear and Blackberry Cobbler
Topped with a crumbly streusel, this pear and blackberry cobbler is a fabulous holiday dessert that has just the right amount of sweet and tangy flavors.

Looking for more incredible recipes? Be sure to head to the Macy’s Culinary Council’s recipe page for more inspiring dishes worth sharing this holiday and all year long.

Charmed (2018 TV series)

Charmed is an American fantasy drama television series developed by Jennie Snyder Urman, Jessica O'Toole, and Amy Rardin. It is a reboot of the WB series of the same name, created by Constance M. Burge, which originally aired from 1998 to 2006. Carter Covington served as showrunner for the first season, and was replaced by married duo Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro for the second season. Charmed premiered in the United States on October 14, 2018 on The CW. It follows the lives of three sisters—Macy (Madeleine Mantock), Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery)—who, after the death of their mother, discover they are The Charmed Ones, the most powerful trio of good witches, who are destined to protect innocent lives from demons and other dark forces. Each sister has an individual magical power, which is noticeably stronger when all three sisters work together as the "Power of Three" to defeat their enemies. The sisters are aided by a Whitelighter, Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans), an advisor who protects and guides witches.

  • Poppy Productions
  • Reveal Entertainment
  • Still Married Productions (season 2)
  • Propagate [1]

In January 2019, The CW renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on October 11, 2019. [2] In January 2020, The CW renewed the series for a third season, which premiered later in the fall season on January 24, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [3] [4] In February 2021, Charmed was renewed for an upcoming fourth season. [5]

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Room With a View-- Book Review & Comparison From New York Times.

A Room With a View, By: E. M. Forster based on the travels in Florence, Italy. Great article today in New York Times Book Review. Check It Out.

(Image-Chris Warde-Jones for The New York Times) Tweet

Joe Avati, Thanksgiving.

Here I am on Thanksgiving, with my entire family in the house, loud talking, food all around, kids running around. I mean a real party as opposed to a traditional dinner. We were in full force at my mother's house this year which includes siblings, in laws, kids you name it, its at my mother's house. So, my brothers and I have similar humor when it comes to jokes, so I thought what a better way to entertain my family than to introduce them to some Joe Avati comedy.

Now, whats amazing to me is the fact that I did not know about Joe Avati until very recently. So, now that I know about Joe Avati, my family is going to know Joe Avati. What makes Joe Avati's comedy very appropriate in my house is the fact that we are Calabrese and to hear Joe Avati tell his jokes with that very dialect is amazing. Not only is my job for the family--the social director, travel agent, and whatever else involves a computer, I am also the mainstream media reporter. I give them breaking news all the time.

Without delay and in between stuffing our faces, I grab my laptop and set it up on the dining room table where everywhere is still sitting. Now, the funny part to this story is trying to get everyone to shut up. I think we hear." SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH". for a good ten minutes before I had to restart the clips three times before I could everyone to listen. As they listened to Joe Avati, there was a brief moment of silence on whether or not they were going to think he was funny. (Mind you, nothing impresses an Italian family..you all know that already.)

Needless to say, everyone was hysterically laughing, my brother's first words were, "whose this guy, and where is he. " I almost fell off my chair, this was the first thing I said about JA, when I heard him for the first time. Anyway, Joe Avati was a big hit at Thanksgiving dinner and he didn't even know that I brought him as my date. I guess Joe Avati now has a bunch of crazy Calabrese from New Jersey as his new fans.

Rosella Rago- "Cooking With Nonna"

Here's a really fun and great way to connect with your traditional Italian cooking roots. Rosella Rago, is an up and coming new talent, who is working on a web series project that will feature cooking traditions and recipes from nonnas all over the world. She put out a call in the Italian American community for everyone to participate and volunteer their favorite recipes from their Nonna. The project is expected to launch this upcoming year. Support our Italian American talent and visit Rosella's site for updates, new shows and participation.

5 Cooking Lessons Learned from Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Thanks to Macy’s Culinary Council Top Chef Master’s Season 2 Winner Marcus Samuelsson just shared some cool recipes for Superbowl Sunday. As an homage to the teams and the host city, New Orleans, Chef Marcus Samuelsson prepared crab cakes with chipotle mayo, dirty rice and fried “yard bird” better known as fried chicken.

I’ll start with a few Instagram photos before I get to the 𔄝 Cooking Lessons Learned from Chef Marcus Samuelsson.”

Instagram Photos from the Macy’s Culinary Council Event

Here’s Chef Marcus Samuelsson working with a young chef who’s a member of an Atlanta cooking club.

The amazing crab cake with chipotle mayo and citrus salad.

He greeted guest and signed books.

I learned a lot about his approach to cooking when he answered audience questions.

5 Cooking Lessons Learned from Chef Marcus Samuelsson

  1. Write a family cook book. Samuelsson suggested it’s an excellent way to pass on traditions and preserve your family’s history. Considering how I am not the best cook, maybe I need to interrogate/interview my Mother, sisters, cousin and even my husband to get their recipes.
  2. Don’t be dismayed by “poor man’s meals.” He said some of the best recipes came from poor people who had to be inventive with their leftovers.
  3. Piggy backing on the leftovers topic – Samuelsson shared how Americans waste about 30% of their food. We throw away leftovers, buy in bulk then wonder why it spoils and make portions that are too large. How can your family reduce the amount of food you waste?
  4. Don’t be ashamed to order a cheaper cut of meat. Use the the fat for flavoring rice, a side dish or to make gravy.
  5. The yin and the yang of genetically modified foods. I really appreciated Samuelsson’s response when an audience member asked him how he felt about them. Samuelsson acknowledged that we shouldn’t put our health in danger with artificially produced foods, but in certain areas of the world where food is scarce and limited – there could be a use for it.

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Be Everywhere Society and was

compensated for my time to write this story. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Best Martha Stewart Products to Buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Holiday shopping means different things to different people. Some people start early, purchasing a gift for everyone on their list well in advance of Thanksgiving. Others wait until the very last minute, grabbing presents just before stores close for the holiday. And then there&aposs those who shop during the sweet spot right in the middle, which just so happens to coincide with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, meaning they get great first for the best prices of the season. And whether you&aposre looking for that perfect stocking stuffer or essentials that help a loved one (or themselves!) stock the bar, you&aposll find exactly what you need from Martha Stewart. And the best part of all is that so many of her must-have products are on sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

From meal kits that help your family whip up a delicious dinner and curated gift baskets to cold-weather bedding and a wide range of CBD wellness essentials, Martha makes some of the most gift-worthy products around. And with all the deep discounts happening, there&aposs never been a better time to stock up on holiday presents than right now.

Take a look at some of the very best deals on Martha Stewart products at Macy&aposs, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marley Spoon, and more here.

With travel to Israel curtailed for the moment, Michael Solomonov* will bridge the gap by bringing Israel’s extraordinarily diverse and vibrant culinary landscape into people’s homes via weekly interviews with food and cultural figures in Israel, cooking both new and signature recipes live in his home kitchen, and through live conversations.

*Michael Solomonov is a beloved champion of Israel's extraordinarily diverse and vibrant culinary landscape. He is co-owner of Philadelphia’s CookNSolo Restaurants which include Zahav, the trailblazing restaurant where Solomonov is Chef, and he is the co-author of three cookbooks. Solomonov is the recipient of five James Beard awards, including 2016 “Book of the Year” for his and CookNSolo partner Steven Cook’s best seller Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, as well as 2017 “Outstanding Chef” and 2019 "Outstanding Restaurant" for Zahav. Food & Wine Magazine recognized Zahav as one of The 2018 "40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years". The other distinguished restaurants in Solomonov’s Israeli village are Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Goldie, K’Far, Merkaz, and Laser Wolf.

Chocolate pumpkin cake with spiced brown butter frosting

It’s October and pumpkin recipes are hitting hard on my blog feeds and Pinterest right now — and it all looks so good. I was due to make my next cake, so scoured recipes for the perfect chocolate pumpkin cake. Yes, I need chocolate in my cake. But I’m a chocolate purist. I don’t want my pumpkin bits mixed up with my chocolate bits. So I came up with this chocolate pumpkin cake with spiced brown butter frosting. The layers keep the two flavors separate, and the brown butter frosting is so incredible, I wrote a blog about it.

Chocolate pumpkin cake with spiced brown butter frosting

This cake looks beautiful with the deep orange pumpkin layers and dark chocolate layers all wrapped up in vanilla bean-specked white frosting. My husband says it’s my best so far. It’s fun to see my baking abilities improve now that I’m up to my sixth chocolate cake (not in my lifetime, but documented on my blog). I tried piping on a few of my other cakes, and wasn’t very good at it. This time I used the back of a spoon to swirl the frosting around once it was on the cake. It worked like a charm.

Chocolate pumpkin cake with spiced brown butter frosting

The cake recipes are pretty basic and I’ve made the chocolate recipe before. I just halved the cake recipes and they cooked up moist and delicious. The cake stays moist in the fridge for a while, too. Mine is going on day three and was even left cut and uncovered for a day. The frosting is adapted from a cooked flour frosting recipe by Leelabean Bakes. This is probably the hardest part of the recipe, since there are some extra steps and lots of waiting for things to chill before proceeding to the next step. It’s all worth it, though. Browning the butter gives it a nutty flavor that matches perfectly with the pumpkin cake.

Serve this cake at your holiday party and you will get rave reviews. I promise. If you do, please take a pic and send it to me…I’d love to see it recreated in someone else’s hands.

Chocolate pumpkin cake with spiced brown butter frosting

Pumpkin cake adapted from Pumpkin Cake III by Sue Case.

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease 2 8” round cake pans and line with parchment.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.

In another mixing bowl, beat together sugar and oil on low. Add the vanilla and pumpkin puree. Beat in one egg at a time and then gradually add the flour mixture. The resulting batter will be thick. Add it to your pan and give it a tap on the counter to settle it evenly.

Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. The pumpkin layer will take longer to cook than the chocolate layer, so be ready with a toothpick (I use a long bamboo skewer) to test for doneness.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder in a large mixing bowl.

Using your hand or stand mixer on low, add the milk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla to the flour mixture. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed to low and carefully add the hot water. Mix on high for about a minute, scraping the sides.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until your cake tester comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack.

Using a bread knife, cake cutter or dental floss, slice through each cake horizontally. Assemble with the a chocolate layer on the bottom. Frost with a big dollop of frosting. Add a pumpkin layer, frost. Add a chocolate layer, frost. Then the last pumpkin layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake, using the back of a spoon to make the swirls.

If you are using a vanilla bean, you first need to infuse your milk/cream. This adds an extra step, but all of those vanilla bean specks are worth it. Add the milk, cream and split vanilla bean to a small saucepan. Heat on low for about 10 minutes. Don’t let it come to a boil. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the milk/cream. Allow to cool completely.

Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until it foams, then carefully watch until you see brown specks at the bottom of the pan. Don’t let the butter blacken. Remove from the heat and strain the butter. Chill until solid, about 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge, and allow to come to room temperature.

Now that everything is cool, we can start to make the frosting. In a small bowl, whisk the flour into about ¼ of the cooled milk/cream mixture. Once it’s formed a nice paste without lumps, add to the rest of the milk/cream. Add the sugar and heat on low, whisking so you don’t get any lumps. Once hot, the mixture will thicken.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. You can stir periodically over a bowl of ice, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to speed up the process. If you don’t stir or cover, it will form a skin and create lumps.

Add the room temperature browned butter, pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg to a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. Add the milk mixture (and vanilla extract, if using), and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Electopickle, producer of that great Marshall Field's memories video with over 102,000 views now has a new video out capturing points from our 2012 rally on State Street. Be sure to check it out--and be sure to tell a friend, too! Bring Back Marshall Field's! http://youtu.be/AXp-8BXxJN8

Date: Friday, October 5, 2012  12:03 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

In response to Richard Leas' post, Mayor Emanuel is very much a champion of getting companies, teams, and other institutions to move back to Chicago and the like. Myself and others have attended more than a few presentations by the Mayor to get ideas in our quest to restore Marshall Field's. As you know, we've been promoting the forward-looking vantages of our cause with the concept, "A 21st-century Marshall Field's for a 21st-century Chicago." Since we started that, we've been very pleased to hear Mayor Emanuel own goal of making Chicago "one of the top 50 international cities of the 21st Century." So we think our goal is very consistent with the Mayor's vision.

That said, be it Mayor Emanuel--or any politician or celeb (think Oprah, Michael Jordan, etc.) aren't likely to come out publicly unless they can first get their ducks in a row and a deal is made. Just my two cents.

More later. and thank you.

Date: Friday, October 5, 2012  9:41 am CT
Posted by: Richard Leas

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2012  7:12 pm CT
Posted by: Eric B.

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2012  7:12 pm CT
Posted by: State Street Watcher

I've noticed that they have re-done the store window displays on State Street. They show current 28 Shop offerings with giant black-and-white images of Marshall Field's 28 Shop of the 20th Century as the backdrop.

The message is clear. Maybe Macy's has some new stuff, but the reason people come to State Street is for Marshall Field's, not Macy's.

Date: Monday, October 1, 2012  9:28 am CT
Posted by: Mikea

was at State sTREET AGAIN LAST WEEK AND SAW THAT mACY'S IS ONCE AGAIN CHANGING THE STORE AROUND. nOW THEY DOUBLED THE SIZE OF MENS SHOES AND ONCE AGAIN MOVED AROUND DEPARTMENTS. Also Oakbrook is getting renovated once again all departments are getting renovations except mens. I am wondering if they are thinking of moving mens out of the main store as they do in San Fran stores.

I was in San Fran last week nad yes the Macy's mens store was enlarged now to 6 levels and completely renovated. It seems that the San Fran Macy's is more like Field's than the Chicago State Street sore is.

Date: Sunday, September 30, 2012  9:28 am CT
Posted by: Richard leas

Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012  8:07 am CT
Posted by: JoEllen B.

Date: Friday, September 28, 2012  9:12 am CT
Posted by: Danielle M.

I worked at the State Street store back in the late 90's.

I was seasonal for the Christmas department.

I would bring my daughter to see the window display and see the department I worked in.

As a true lover of Marshall fields, to this day, I haven't shopped at Crazy's, I mean Macy..lol! It's like cheating on Marshall Fields sorry, can't do it!

A TRUE Marshal Fields aficionado takes more than a couple of sentences to explain the love they have for a true Chicago staple!

Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012  9:12 am CT
Posted by: P.D.

Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012  6:37 am CT
Posted by: T.G.

Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2012  3:33 pm CT
Posted by: Drew

Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2012  2:41 pm CT
Posted by: Mike Russell

Here is a link to a London Telegraph article on two series about department stores that are going to be broadcast in Britain.

Date: Monday, September 24, 2012  7:21 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

You know, I was just thinking exactly the same thing s.b. explained: sell 111 N. State Street, the Marshall Field trademark, and all things Field's (Frangos and all) to another retailer. Two possible scenarios:

1. We all know that Neiman Marcus owns New York's famed Bergdorf Goodman, right? Perhaps Neiman's could also buy Field's in Chicago and either buy J.W. Robinson's, Bullocks, or (re-acquire, thanks to the late Carter Hawley Hale) The Broadway in Los Angeles. NM could show that they are more than just the store with the world's greatest Christmas catalog by operating three historic merchants in America's three largest cities alongside their 30-40 or so locations. If anti-trust prevents this, however.

2. I despise bringing up "el cheapo" nameplates here at FFC, but maybe Wisconsin's Kohl's might want to bring Field's back? History CAN repeat itself here: when Dayton-Hudson (also parent of Target and the late Mervyn's) owned Marshall Field's, they did a great job running the great Chicago store (except for that one time they DID NOT have the green bags everyone adored). This could be the ultimate Midwest retail power team! Sears, too if they could bring Field's back as a destination store, it may vastly help the mother company, too!

Look, I don't care what Wall Street or even mikea says about macy*mart trying to strut its way to profitability as an 800-store chain, I just want to see Field's back!


Date: Monday, September 24, 2012  12:01 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012  7:04 pm CT
Posted by: Jim

Someone asked me about the value of the tradenames and where those numbers were from.

The numbers for Marshall Field's and other MayCo names were from May Department Stores' 2004 annual report issued in early 2005. Macy's/Blooomingdale's numbers came from Federated's 2004 and 2005 annual reports issued around the same time for 2004.

- Marshall Field's tradenames were listed as $419 M.
- Federated's tradenames were listed as $377 M.
- Other Mayco names including Famous-Barr, Foleys, Hecht's, Filene's, etc. AND Lord & Taylor were listed as about $165 M.

Date: Friday, September 21, 2012  11:10 am CT
Posted by: Field's Fan

Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012  6:24 pm CT
Posted by: chitown fielder

Jan Rodgers, former SVP of May dept. stores refers to Target as being cool, hip and up to date. That cool came from Marshall Field's and their buyers made Target a trendy national retailer. Field's was always ahead of the times and the brand remains too powerful to leave sitting around. Macy's is clueless of the untapped potential that lies in Field's brands and reputation.


Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2012  6:24 pm CT
Posted by: s.b.

Date: Monday, September 17, 2012  10:42 pm CT
Posted by: Alan

Date: Monday, September 17, 2012  10:35 pm CT
Posted by: Alan

Date: Monday, September 17, 2012  6:30 pm CT
Posted by: N.H. in Georgia

Date: Sunday, September 16, 2012  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Bill Roe

Date: Saturday, September 15, 2012  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Mark Weiser Russell

We were in Oakbrook, Illinois over Labor Day, and did we miss Marshall Field's! Macy's might try its best to make the Oak Brook store somethiong special, but it misses the mark. Broken tile, filthy restrooms, a shrinking gourmet foods section do not make the store attractive. The merchandise on display was uninspring. Luckily, I was able to buy some Frango Mints in teh vintage Marshall Field and Company box.

I continue to be impressed by this grass roots effort to resurrect my favorite department store.

Thank you!


Mark Russell
Lexington, Kentucky

Date: Friday, September 14, 2012  8:34 pm CT
Posted by: Ronald

Date: Friday, September 14, 2012  12:13 pm CT
Posted by: MIkea

To I miss the regional namepaltes

Yes the regional stores were part of every town and cities history. However there were so many stores in the late 1800's and early 20th century like every town had their own bank, grocery and drug store.

The problem is CHANGE times change. If it were profitable for local merchants to compete and make money and the regional stores would still be around.

Consumers as a whole want low prices. The Walmarting and Targeting of America has ruined local merchants. The department stores as regional department stores were inefeective in competing with the national stores ie Target, Kohl's, Sears, JC Penney, Norstrom, Saks, Neiman's. and the specialty mall based chains. Field's in its heyday carried merchandise from Target level to Neiman's. In the current retail environment that is not possible.

Macy's merged the regional stores into one brand for economy of scale. Whty carry almost the same merchandise in all the stores yet have to market them under 7-10 different names, therefore driving up the cost of business and the price of the merchandise or the business in the long term will suffer. Why did the May Company swallow up so many stores and change their names? Why did Target change the names of their flagship Dayton's and Hudsons's stores?

You talk about the value of bringing something special back from stores ie Field's etc. That is great and when I was in Toronto I though ahh The Bay , Holt Renfrew and to my surprise The Bay is very simiiar to Macy's with the exception of some house and name brands in fact The Bay carries 6 or 7 of Macy's own brands. Holt Renfrew is a cross between Neiman's and Nordstrom in a Neiman's sized store. Yes I too wish the regional stores were around, but in the current environment it is not possible.

[Response from the webmaster, Jim:
Certainly there's an argument for consolidation. Bon-Ton has attempted to keep seven regional name plates with mixed results. As a former Famous Barr customer, I don't know that I miss Famous Barr--just my personal opinion. However, Marshall Field's was on an international class. State Street would certainly be brought back as Fields's with great success, on par with Bergdorf's, FAO Schwarz, Harrods, and others. It's a "no-brainer."]

Date: Thursday, September 13, 2012  4:23 pm CT
Posted by: H.S.

You people on State Street last Sunday are my heroes.

I don't understand why Macy's didn't do much with Frango as a national brand. They tried it for a few months and that was it. They really should have done much more to market them nationally with full pages ads, etc., with the same excitement as Martha Stewart merch. Like I.N.C., they should have carried Frangos at both Blooomingdale's and Macy's.

Perhaps Frango is too synonymous with Macy's deep-sixing Field's.

I just don't get the wacky people who run Macy's.

Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012  9:52 pm CT
Posted by: i_miss_the_regional_nameplates

Richard, Drew, and Jim y'all are on the right mark. After all, what was Field's longtime slogan? Give the Lady What She Wants, of course! And now, Field's isn't just what the lady wants. it's what Chicago and the whole world wants! What we DON'T WANT is an egotistical businessman keeping the old names in captivity and grubbing up the money that goes into this ill-fated retail operation (if one can call it that).

- To Richard in Houston: I slowly read that history excerpt about Houston "lacking" a department store in 1944 and I thought, "balderdash!" I knew that Houston has had Foley's since 1900 until the macy*marting in 2006! Just another reason for Lunkhead to erase what identified America's great communities, large and small! And about the 1986 original Macy's that has now fallen apart, I know exactly what you're talking about! We here in Dallas have had a real Macy's since 1985 and it, too, has the same problems the Houston store has (ripped carpet and all)! The Sonny Bryan's Barbecue our store had closed down recently, since I no longer see the Galleria Macy's listed as a location (check out the Yelp picture of its current state - how shoddy!). Hey, at least Sonny's has good local taste now that they no longer want to be associated with what was a nice-looking store once upon a time.

- To Drew: You're right - even in sleepy, rust-belt communities like Cleveland or Pittsburgh, every community needs a local mercantile icon that not only serves the community and gives back to local charities (for example), but gives visitors something different and something to look forward to. On past trips and vacations in my lifetime, I had that same feeling, usually with supermarkets and restaurants.

- Finally, to Jim: Very excellent reasons from the 2012 rally flyer to bring Marshall Field's back! Just imagine: less-than-stellar annual reports from super-rare fashion houses because Field's is gone, lighter luggage at O'Hare and Midway due to little or no opportunity for great Chicago souvenirs (why? Because of no Field's and no Carson's, among other prized stores!), and reduced or cut staff from Chicago's government and public works (maintenance, road repair, etc.) due to tax dollars lost from losing Field's. I think we should track down documents showing these dismal changes dating back 15 years or so: numbers from before 9/9/06, and numbers after that date. Then we can present them to Mr. Lunkhead next May (in addition to the State St. Surveys - I hope for 5 out of 5 next year!) and he can see how his homogenization plan has hurt Chicago and the nation!†

Keep up the fantastic work, Field's Fans! We would love to eat creamy Frangos and wear high-quality clothing now and forever! And please, Mr. Lunkhead: no more pushing the macy*mart brand hard. If I want to be subjected to falling-apart stores with minimal help and cheap, counterfeit brand merchandise, I'll go dumpster diving and see what someone has thrown out in there.



Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012  11:01 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

There were no colored lines through 1968 when I left town. Maybe Howard is remembering some other city. Or if he is using "green line" simply as a modern point of reference, maybe he is remembering Wieboldt's which would make Macy's look smart. I suppose it is possible Field's could look ordinary to some people but that is beyond my ability to imagine.

I remember riding, as a young child with my mother, from what must have been the Logan Square stop of the Douglas Park el to the loop- a very romantic and exciting adventure. Yes, the smells, the grinding, rattling, racking and squealing- and the old cars which were long in the tooth. the reversible seat backs with serious bronze handles and dark green scratchy mohair (probably) velour upholstery. Heavy windows that snapped into place up or down. And COLD COLD COLD in the winter.

At the end of the journey- Field's-- marble, mahogany? and cast iron splendor.

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  9:19 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  9:17 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

Where does Macy's get its facts? I am cutting and pasting a part of their "history overview" from their own website: "As the nation went on to recover from the strife of a long war, Federated surged forward into a new era of the companyís history. It was about to embark on a new venture sparked by another epiphany credited to Mr. Fred. During a trip to Houston, TX, in 1944, he was astonished to find that the sizeable city had not a single department store. It became obvious to him that Federated had to begin acting on such opportunities that were there for the taking. Upon his return, he convinced Federatedís directors that remaining a holding company was no longer conducive to achieving the kind of success possible in the countryís booming retail industry."

This is so not true. Mr. Fred Lazarus visited Houston in 1944 and saw Foley's and the potential to grow the store to match those on the East Coast. Subsequently, Federated invested millions purchasing Foley's and opening the new flagship store in October, 1947. Macy's, there WAS a department store in Houston in 1944.

What is sad is there is NO MENTION of Marshall Fields at all. That was their most prized store.

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  7:45 pm CT
Posted by: Richard in Houston

I am astounded. Without words. I just looked up Macy's flagships and they list the old, dilapidated original 1986 Macy's Houston Galleria as their flagship. The Foley's was only 2 or 3 years old that they took over in the same mall. The Galleria is one of Houston's attractions and sees millions of international visitors yearly. Are they crazy? The store they are referencing has filthy, torn carpet, broken tiles, housewares stacked in what was obviously the Cellar Restaurant in the 80s. It is just horrible. What about the Downtown Houston store? That was 9 floors and has been reduced to 5 (the last time I saw it when Macy's first took over). Federated and, subsequently May Co., had reduced the floors to 6 solely for buying offices and personnel since the chain was the largest in both Federated and May.

Whoever is in the PR department at Macy's sure has a strange interpretation of their magic for international visitors to Houston.

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  4:35 pm CT
Posted by: gle

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  3:23 pm CT
Posted by: Pete

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  11:56 am CT
Posted by: Mary

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  8:12 am CT
Posted by: Bertha A.

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012  CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

Date: Monday, September 10, 2012  9:29 pm CT
Posted by: Marla

Date: Monday, September 10, 2012  8:41 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Date: Monday, September 10, 2012  10:01 am CT
Posted by: howard einhorn m.d.

Date: Monday, September 10, 2012  7:02 am CT
Posted by: L/K/

We live in Florida but support what you are trying to do. Macy's is everywhere. and it's no where as good as Marshall F. I. E. L. D. S.

Good luck! You fight for minions!

Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012  9:41 pm CT
Posted by: Carla

Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012  9:23 pm CT
Posted by: Jim McKay

Thanks to all who helped make this year's September rally for the return of Marshall Field's a success.

About 18-24 people showed up and cycled through the rally through the course of the event. Normally, we publicize the event beginning in mid-July, if not earlier. But because of other personal resposibilities, the rally was only announced five days before, last Tuesday, September 4. So that was a good turn out on such short notice.

Moreover, there were dozens who stopped to talk about how much they missed Field's their main cynicism wasn't about wanting Field's back but how to convince Macy's to listen to the vast majority of customers. I'll didn't encounter anyone opposed to our cause, but I will guess there one or two, not that I heard them.

Also what was interesting was that on two separate occasions, people stopped to take rally signs! At one point a couple driving by on State St. slammed on their brakes, grabbed a pair of signs, put them in their car, got back in and left saying they just had to have those Marshall Field's signs! A young man came by and took a sign and then proceeded to march through the Loop with it, last seen headed west on Washington. It all reminded me of how popular Marshall Field's shopping bags were, so popular that in the late 1990s, so many employees were giving them to friends that they were asked to stop. The head of Field's even asked them to bring them back!

I know many of you couldn't attend because there was only five days notice but we hope you will attend next year, probably on the second weekend of September.

Thanks to all, especially, A., Chris, Marianne, Gail, Gloria, Lucie, Carole, Paul, W., Gayle & Pete, and many more.

Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012  6:01 pm CT
Posted by: Sharon K

Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012  6:06 am CT
Posted by: Susan NY

Interesting, Kay! I worked there for about 7 years and while I knew I was happy there in the midst of personal misery, I had not thought to frame it as the happiest years of my work life. That is a great way to put it. On my breaks I could choose some part of the store to wander-- some new part of paradise or a favorite part. Didn't leave the store til I had to. And it has never left me. take that, Macy's. Even the employes wanted to be at Field's. It wasn't for the pay-- sorry! Wonder how much of the salaries Field's dispensed went right back into the coffers. Maybe it is just as well we were not paid more. (:-)

Macy's can kill the store but they can't kill the idea. Their heritage will be the memories of the destruction they wrought.

So kudos to those out there still demonstrating the faith today.

Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012  12:01 am CT
Posted by: FieldsFansChicago.org

(CHICAGO-September 9, 2012)

FieldsFansChicago.org ANNOUNCES

AT 1:00 pm, TODAY, SUN., SEPT. 9, 2012, Marshall Field's supporters will once again meet under the great clock to rally and demonstrate that more than ever, Chicagoans and want the return of Marshall Field's to State Street.

While Marshall Field's great history and legacy is widely recognized locally and internationally, the main focus of FieldsFansChicago's activities is on the future. FieldFansChicago organizers assert, "To be one of the 21st century's greatest 50 international cities, Chicago's Marshall Field's on State Street must be restored and reinvented as a premiere 21st-century, international emporium. In the process, the value and power of Marshall Field's assets will be unlocked and maximized for Chicago's citizens and tourists as well as Macy's stockholders. There is still no other Chicago retail brand that is better known and respected world-wide in fact, when last compared, Marshall Field's brands and trade names were valued at $419 million, while Macy's brands and trade names were valued at $377 million. The increased store performance will significantly increase tourism and tax revenues. Civic pride will be boosted greatly."

FieldsFansChicago's 2012 annual survey of hundreds of Chicago shoppers found that four out of five still want to see Marshall Field's return to State Street.

The Style Council: 8 Bay Area women (and one dude!) changing how we shop, live, socialize, and stay well in 2018

There were up-and-comers—Sabrina Riddle, then the co-owner of Elizabeth Falkner's restaurant Orson (RIP), who was also dabbling in a fashion label—and icons, including event design guru Stanlee Gatti and the beloved retailer Wilkes Bashford who, like Orson, has also sadly left us. It was a snapshot of the city at the time.

Of course, trendsetters come and go, and sometimes they change course (Riddle went on to help launch the Mission-based eco-friendly haircare brand Madison Reed), but I'm certain of one thing: The fashion, design, and wellness mavens featured in this year's Style Council absolutely represent the Bay Area at this current moment. And whether their projects are everlasting or just for the now, they are emblematic of our society today—the one where Snapchat and Instagram rule and, happily, so do strong, creative, and persistent women.

That's right, this year's Style Council is bursting with femme power, and while it wasn't purposeful on our part, it wasn't totally an accident. Because in this age of the Women's March and #MeToo, women have stepped up and launched forward to share their ideas, rally their tribes, and manifest their goals—and here in the Bay Area, they're getting it done like gangbusters. So give them a round of applause (and also keep an eye on 7x7's Instagram for their very stylish takeovers this September). —Chloé Hennen

Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey, cofounders of Birdies

Bianca Gates (left) and Marisa Sharkey, inside Birdies' Cow Hollow boutique.

Birdies founders Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey are flying high these days. You could hardly miss their stylish slippers-cum-flats popping off the pages of virtually every fashion glossy here and across the pond.

Granted, the fact that a certain duchess—who recently married a certain royal ginger—is a fan of the San Francisco brand has fueled its turn in the spotlight. But with a cult following, a beautiful Cow Hollow boutique, and a couple million in seed funding, Birdies success is no fluke.

Bottom line, it's really about the slippers themselves. They're comfy and luxurious, made to wear around the house and sturdy enough for the street, especially with the recent addition of a slightly thicker rubber heel. (Most pairs retail for $140.)

Birdies hatched three years ago when longtime friends Gates and Sharkey bonded over their inability to find slippers to wear while entertaining. "At the time, our only options were going barefoot, wearing socks, or worse—wearing ugly, frumpy slippers that went more with our pajamas than stylish outfits," Gates explains. "We were frustrated that nobody had solved this problem and being solution-oriented women, we decided to solve it together, once and for all," she adds.

Filling a void in the market doesn't happen overnight, but both women brought their complementary business skills (and $50,000 each) to the table. At the time, Gates was working as an ad sales exec at Facebook, and Sharkey, who has an MBA and worked in corporate strategy at Ross stores, had just relocated to Sacramento and was on the hunt for her next gig. The stars aligned, and in fairly short order a prototype slipper was made and the minimum order required by the factory was placed.

Meghan Markle, pictured here on her now-deleted Instagram feed, announced her royal engagement on Cyber Monday in 2017—"an incredible day for our brand," says Gates, "with various media outlets calling Birdies the 'slippers made for a princess.'"

Next, the ladies hit their personal social networks…hard. "We had very little money left for marketing and advertising so we had to get creative," Gates explains.

"Within weeks, influencers and celebrity stylists began reaching out to us for Birdies. This helped us generate organic buzz and imagery, which we then used on our website and social media channels," recounts Gates. (Yes, one of those early celebs was Ms. Markle, an ardent Blackbird lover.)

Since then, things have only gotten better. A beautiful flagship boutique on Union Street turns one in November, and the coffers are flush thanks to $2.1 million from a seed round led by Forerunner Ventures. And best of all (for the shoe addicts among us): 21 new styles will be dropping this fall/holiday season.

What else can we expect from the label in coming months and years? "World domination," Gates deadpans. "I'm only half kidding," she smiles. —Gail Goldberg

Go-To Store

"I love Anthem Home on Sacramento Street. I always feel like I want to redecorate my entire house when I'm there!" says Gates.

Choice Slipper

"I'm loving our blush color Birdies in both The Songbird and The Robin. It's a great transition to fall, and still my favorite color," says Sharkey.

Getaway: Lake Tahoe

"I love High Camp Home in Truckee. It's upscale mountain chic. And Jake's on the Lake—it's not fancy, but it's the perfect place to grab a drink on the beach," says Sharkey.

Nicole Modic, founder of Kale Junkie

(Eddie Hernandez Photography)

Nicole Modic, aka Kale Junkie, at Dolores Park in San Francisco.

Nicole Modic is in recovery. Recovery from the hellish stress of her past life as a lawyer (the courtroom yelling, the drudge of billable hours), and from decades of binge eating, bulimia, and the mental weight of all of it.

Except you'd never know it: The nutritionist, recipe developer, workout warrior, and all around wellness goddess, who's known to her whopping fan base as Kale Junkie, seems the picture of work/life balance and health.

And then you check out her Instagram feed, and omg it's the party of your #foodporn dreams, bursting with photos and recipes for the tastiest, gooeyest treats (mmm, chocolate chip pecan cookies), gorgeous toasts, and heaping bowls of grains and noodles. And when you soon discover it's all pretty healthy—no refined sugars, and often gluten- and dairy-free—you want to give Modic a hug and thank her for showing you the way.

The 37-year-old gets this a lot: If you dig deeper into that feed, you'll find that her nearly 90,000 followers can't get enough of Kale Junkie's menu of inspirational quotes and tales of struggle and experience, everything from botching a recipe and balancing work with parenting ("they are hard ass work!") to eating disorders and her recent 30-day experiment giving up booze. It's enough to make you forgive her preternatural thirst for exercise (even if you do want to comment hey, where did you get those awesome leggings?)—she does it all, from Barry's Bootcamp and SoulCycle to running the Lyon Street stairs and the Dipsea Trail.

It all started back in 2015, while she was on maternity leave with her first son, Gavyn, when her habit of posting food pics became too much for her personal Instagram feed and the handle @kalejunkie was born. As her photography skills improved and she completed a Functional Nutrition course to become a health coach, people—and brands—started taking notice, and iKale Junkie the brand became a viable alternative to that dreadful career in law.

Today, much of Modic's time is spent in brand collaborations, with the likes of Whole Foods, Belcampo Meat Co., and Bonafide Provisions, that shed light on what a healthy lifestyle can actually look like. She's even launched a "healthy-ish" guide to SF eats. Now, the Corte Madera resident is also taking her game IRL: She recently hosted a panel on body image for a group of 50 women, and on September 6th, will join an entrepreneurship panel in San Francisco hosted by the podcast "Brains Behind the Brands." She hopes to produce and participate in more pop-up events down the road—it's FTF connection with her community that really feeds her soul.

"While Kale Junkie definitely is food-focused," she says, "it's also a lifestyle designed to empower women [who are] struggling with food and body image issues with a safe space to just be, recover together, and start loving themselves." —Jen Woo

The Get-Up

"PE Nation activewear is super flattering. The material is soft, and the sports bras hug in all the right places. As a chesty mama, I need something stylish and sturdy so I can bounce around and crush my workouts." (Tuck Shot Crop, $99)

Home Essential

"Hands down, my Berkey water filter system. This is the best investment I've made, and the water tastes incredible! It also helps that it's a stylish-looking home accessory." (Multiple sizes available starting at $175 berkeywaterfilter.com)

Bucket List

"Because I have a 16-month-old and a 3-and-half-year-old, legit getaways are tough. We do love driving to Healdsburg, Napa, and Sonoma, and dream of having a second home there one day. And, I'm dying to go to Australia."

Alexandra Bigley, cofounder of Bright Side Collective

Alexandra Bigley, at home in Oakland.

When you meet Alexandra Bigley, a 35-year-old marketer based in Oakland, there's a high possibility she'll be dressed all in pink, from her cotton candy hair and cateye spectacles to her vintage gingham dress and ballerina flats.

Two things will instantly feel certain: This woman is a lady and she looks terrific on Instagram.

But you wouldn't want to take her five-foot-two frame to mean that's she diminutive in any way: Bigley, the founder of the burgeoning women's community known as Bright Side Collective, has big personality and high-minded plans.

When she found herself momentarily unemployed in November 2017, the 13-year San Franciscan crossed the bridge to Oakland and found herself in a tough spot: out of a job, out of her element, and in need of social connection, work prospects, and confidantes. She imagined a group of women like herself—creative, entrepreneurial, collaborative—and set out to find it, or rather to create it after all, the former criminal defense paralega with a master's degree in sports management from USF is nothing if not resourceful.

With her best friend, art director Danielle Moore, Bigley launched Bright Side in February 2018 with a networking event at Oakland's Lola Creative Agency. They invited all their Instagram followers and, to their surprise, 150 women showed up. Four events later, Bigley appears to have fulfilled that "burning desire to cultivate a diverse, purposeful, and accessible group." Her most recent event—a panel discussion on social media and branding with East Bay talent including stylist Bianca Sotello and holistic healer Maryam Hasnaaat, held at VSCO headquarters in August—filled up almost instantly and even garnered a wait list. It seems Bigley wasn't the only woman in town yearning for a tribe and an inclusive space (the group strives to welcome women of color and diverse socioeconomic statuses and backgrounds) to help cultivate career goals, side hustles, and friendships.

By day, Bigley still goes to her day job at Touch of Modern, where is the brand strategist. By night, she's strategizing how to keep bringing Bright Side to the forefront in order to share her "dreams for authentic connections and an inclusive community" with all the women around her. —Jen Woo

Dress Code

Kamperett's simple, cotton Varo dress ($385). "Made in California out of 100 percent Japanese cotton, this is a go-to for any event."

Bag Lust

Susan Alexandra's Joni bag ($265), inspired by Joni Mitchell's Blue album. "This bag represents freedom, innocence, and sweetness all in one."

Girl Crush

Alicia Garza, cofounder of Black Lives Matter. She "has organized around issues of health, student services, domestic workers, police brutality, anti-racism" and more.

Angela Tafoya, editorial director of Lonny

Angela Tafoya, editorial director of Lonny.

She may be soft-spoken, but Angela Tafoya is not afraid to tell it like it is.

For example, she's more than happy to divulge her anti-minimalist leanings when it comes to home design. "I like to call it 'controlled clutter,' and I am not ashamed of that," she declares. No big deal, except as the editorial director of Lonny, a popular home and décor site, she shapes how millions of people view interiors.

One whirl through Tafoya's gorgeous and personality-packed Inner Sunset home, which she shares with her husband and three-year-old daughter, and it becomes instantly clear that her use of the word clutter is, um, ridiculous. Every chic, lived-in room (she describes her look as "bohemian modern") is worthy of its own magazine spread. "I love a rich color palette, and texture and pattern. And I love stuff. Overall, I have a cozy approachable home. With a kid, there's nothing too precious," she says.

While Tafoya has served as the top editor at the Redwood City–based site (owned by Livingly Media) since 2016, the tastemaker has really found her groove this year: Not only did she get a promotion, the lean team she built from the ground up is flourishing and Lonny's national profile is on the up, with three million visitors each month and brand partnerships and event sponsorships such as West Coast Craft.

When it comes to her personal career growth, she's particularly proud of her role as bosslady to two editors and a designer. "When I was hired at Lonny, it was the first time I ever had to manage anyone. Over the past couple of years, I've developed a certain skillset in this area, and I consider that a real accomplishment," she says.

Something the New Mexico native never had to develop, because it's part of her DNA, is the ability to transform a room: "I've always been into rearranging things. I remember moving around furniture in my parents' house when I was growing up (and always begging them to take me to Michaels.) How people choose to live in their houses and what they choose to surround themselves with is just fascinating to me," she says.

Lucky for her, scouting houses and covering home tours—two of her favorite things—are key parts of her job.

Tafoya is no slouch when it comes to the fashion front, either. After all, much of the Freda Salvador freak's career has been devoted to San Francisco style: first as community manager at Popsugar and then as SF/West Coast Editor at Refinery 29, where she worked for four years. That is, until Lonny lured her away.

Smart move, guys. —Gail Goldberg

AT's Fashion Icon

"I love Solange Knowles. Her quiet artistry. her style…how she plays with volume, texture, and color."

Fav Local Shops

Shoe Obsession

"I have at least 10 pairs of Fredas. I am such a loyal customer. They're amazing, and functional."

Lauren Farleigh, founder of Dote

The founder and CEO at work in the closet at Dote.

Lauren Farleigh is a serious, no frills kind of gal—the kind who can deftly discuss quarterly numbers among her investors.

But the 31-year-old Bernal Heights–based founder of Dote can also crush out a live Snapchat show with the prowess of a social media influencer—in fact, her business kind of depends upon it.

Dote, touted as the shopping platform for Generation Z, is a one-stop app where fashionistas can shop the latest trends from brands including Sephora, Asos, and Urban Outfitters but like all good startups in 2018, it's also an immersive experience targeting women, er girls, where they hang out. And in the case of Gen Z, that's on Snapchat and Instagram.

Sort of like a mobile mall, Dote is leveraging social media with its army of #dotegirls—a tribe of more more than 100 YouTube and IG stars who paper the feeds with their teen and 20s spirit while traveling to cool locales (most recently Fiji) or just living their covetable lives, all while wearing cute outfits (and tagging up the brands) which are, of course, all purchasable from head to toe on Dote.

And if more than 100,000 IG followers and 30 million app users are any indication, the plan is working.

"Part of our thesis, and the way we've built our product, is centered around this idea of 'commerce around a person.' It means that a Gen Z girl today would rather get inspired and shop from her favorite social stars than from top-down big-brand advertising budgets," says Farleigh, who recently partnered with YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain to create Dote's first private-label brand.

When the Alaska native once obsessed with catalogue and online shopping got her first cell phone back in the day, she blew her own mind with the idea of creating an app where she could access every store from anywhere. It plagued her by day at her job as a product manager in mobile gaming it caught up with her in the shower and while daydreaming on the street. She sought funding—Dote has received a total of $10.8 million so far, partially secured through Planet of the Apps—and launched her biz in August 2014.

"We have a phenomenal team that I truly believe is best-in-class and has enormous heart. That's a pretty special combination. It really does take a village," says Farleigh. "If I've learned anything, [it is that] all great results come down to the people who are doing the work to make the incredible happen." —Jen Woo

Top Pick

Free People Why Not zip-through pullover ($128). "I have been loving Free People lately, and this plaid zip up is perfect for fall."

The Wknd

"I am often times traveling on the weekend for marketing trips, but if I'm not, I like to take my dog, Taco, to Fort Funston with my fiancé, Dustin."

The Throwback

"Scrunchies are back, and I'm here for it! This white one can complete any look," Farleigh says. High Key's go-to scrunchie ($6.50).

Lindsay Meyer, cofounder of Batch

Linsday Meyer, at Batch HQ.

Imagine stalking the blog of your favorite style maven—the midcentury modern furniture of her jewel-box apartment jeujed just so with mismatched throw pillows and trendy monstera leaves.

Or quietly coveting those cool tassel earrings tossed on the bedside table of your most fashionable friend—where did she get those, Morocco? Tulum?

You could make a mental note of this look or that, perhaps collect a piece and a memory on your next trip to Oaxaca, Los Angeles, or New York. Or you could just buy it all (I'll take this, and this, and this) because you're a millennial after all Instant Gratification is thy middle name. Don't worry, Batch cofounder Lindsay Meyer's got you.

"Every two months I want to redo my home," says the 32-year-old, who doesn't seem to mind in the least that "it's not the most pragmatic." The capital-M millennial knows all too well that a stayed interior doesn't make for a very fresh IG feed (Batch's is, fittingly, dripping in millennial pink), and so she's turned her compulsion into a now one-year-old "contextual commerce" concept that's banking on the equally short attention spans and Veruca Salt demands (I want it now!) of design-minded apartment-dwellers from San Francisco to L.A.

Part retail showroom and part home-staging company, Meyer's Batch is a one-stop shop for furnishings, home and fashion accessories, and even household essentials, from a Molekule air purifier all the way down to a hipster wooden toothbrush. Collections (called batches) are changed out quarterly inside the Nob Hill showroom where literally everything you see is for sale and in the case you truly have no imagination, you can order entire "glo-bo" (that's global bohemian) rooms via email. Done and done.

If you're in the market for a co-living or co-working environment, Batch Showcases, as they are called, turn those environments into shopping experiences with locations currently at three SF condo developments (including the Dogpatch's Knox and 815 Tennessee) as well as one in beachy Venice. (As the company's website says, you can "fall in love with the vaulted ceiling and the dining room table, too.")

"People have always told me I have an amazing sense of style and I'm the most creative person they know," Meyer says with the rattling confidence of a well-funded startup CEO. And to be fair, she's earned her moment as the boss: Meyer was featured in Time's 2017 cover story "The Silence Breakers," which commended #MeToo proponents who were speaking out against sexual harassment, in the tech-workplace in Meyer's case.

She's between meetings and speaking from her car, which is parked outside the construction site of Batch's soon-to-be-fourth showcase in the Castro, about how her work is her life, and her life her work. When she does come up for air, you might catch her drinking bloody marys at Thieves Tavern and hanging out with her Apple-staffer-partner and their fluffy white rescue mutt Ralphie, also an Instagram star. Natch. —Chloé Hennen

The Gear

"I go for a sporty-chic look, and that's become even more key lately since my days are really physical," says Meyer, who swears by Aday's sports bras and leggings to keep her comfy while on the move.

Signature Drink

On the weekends, Meyer and her partner like hanging out in Dogpatch, where they go for the fish tacos and margaritas ("I order them spicy!") at Glena's.

At Home

"I'm currently loving Croft House's Latigo table for all of the holiday moments ahead, and I'm a huge fan of their oversize mirrors—they're stunning statement pieces."

Molly Goodson and Carnet Williams, cofounders of The Assembly

Carnet Williams and Molly Goodson, on the patio at The Assembly.

In this new era of the reinvigorated women's rights movement, ladies clubs are trending.

Representing in the Mission are Molly Goodson and Carnet Williams, founders of the buzzy coworking and wellness space known as The Assembly.

Opened in January 2018, the former cathedral—with its glorious stained glass windows shedding polychromatic light on a stylish design compliments of women designers from around the Bay Area—is already a hub for women who want to connect over kombuchas, share ideas, get some work done and a workout in.

And it's thanks to a pair of seemingly subdued and serious characters who, incidentally, turn into a couple of giggly school girls at their daily 7am breakfast meetup.

The former Sugar, Inc. VP of Content (Goodson) and tech exec who did stints at InMobi and Sprout (Williams) put their heads together in the wake of the 2016 election with the aim of providing a gathering space for women. The idea wasn't totally outside the box for the two friends: They had previously cofounded Spright, an app connecting mothers with pediatric experts. Thanks to the right connections and word of mouth, the pair managed to amass a social media following and paying members before the club's buildout was even complete.

Since their sold-out opening weekend, The Assembly has ramped up its offering of fitness classes, inspirational talks, and self-care activities such as sound baths, acupuncture, and mani/pedis to include fundraisers as well—they recently raised $40,000 for RAICES' efforts to rejoin Mexican immigrant families who were separated at the border.

Currently, they are organizing offsite adventures for their 450 members (and non-members) and plotting The Assembly's next location (the whereabouts are still top secret). —Jen Woo

MG's Creative Hero

"All the authors of the books that have stayed with me—women who are able to show their vulnerabilities," Goodson says. "I think Cheryl Strayed has done this with a lot of honesty and truth."

(Courtesy of Cheryl Strayed)

The Cleanse

Goodson loves Monastery rose cleansing oil ($39). "We sell this in the shop and it's available from local aesthetician Athena. I'm super into facial massage these days and enjoy this nightly ritual."

Culture Fix

"I love being a member of SF Jazz, and recently went to a delightful Zoe Keating concert there—live music, as much as I can," Goodson says. "Podcasts—do they count? And reading every single day."

Visit our Western laboratory

We’re honored to have been a part of Western lives for more than a hundred years, and we welcome visitors to beautiful Cornerstone Sonoma every year for Sunset’s Celebration Weekend, a two-day festival that brings the magazine to life with celebrity chef demos, wine seminars, and samples from our favorite artisanal food, wine, and beer producers. Tour our outdoor kitchen, take a gander at our famous test garden, home to all the latest plants and projects we're evaluating for coverage in Sunset, and stroll the beautiful grounds.

Watch the video: Macys Culinary Council (June 2022).


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