WITH LOVE FROM COLETTE
I’ve always loved fine things, personal things, unique things you want to hold on to forever. It might be old fashioned, but I believe there’s a right way to live in this world. If our days aren’t full of beauty and color, then honestly, what’s the journey worth?
I am told I’m like my grandmother. She and my grandfather owned a general store, which the family lived above. She ran the store while he took care of the kids. My grandmother was far ahead of her time, playing by her own rules in an era when few women did. She taught my mother to buy one thing of quality instead of a closet full of trendy clothes, a lesson I learned in turn. Mom tells me stories of working at a department store in Chicago. She had one good black skirt and one good white cotton blouse that she rinsed out every night, pressed each morning, then wore to work looking like a million-dollar sales clerk. She showed me how to pick out my father’s ties, how to sew his buttons and iron his dress shirts (saving her the trouble). She never mentioned I was born holding an iron in my hand. Is it any wonder I’ve spent almost 30 years selling fine linens?
I grew up in Minneapolis, the only girl between two brothers. Family always came first. On Sundays, we would pile in the car together and drive around looking at beautiful homes and gardens or visiting museums. My parents were art collectors and led me to artists who inspire me still, Rothko from the 50s and 60s, Hockney in the 80s. My love of modern design and vibrant color (red is still my favorite) are clearly visible in my first linen collection.
My mother always said, “if you let a butterfly go free, it will come back.” I went to college at Washington University in St. Louis, then made my way to Chicago. It’s there that I began a career with Pratesi, the gold standard of Italian luxury linen, learning the technique and heritage of Italian design from factory to showroom. After decades of building businesses for others, I knew it was time to bring my own to life. Where better than in Minneapolis? A city more vital than ever: people, culture, art, creativity, and so many wonderful things to discover. A city that knows how to live — the perfect place to create something new.
In a world of disposable things, we risk losing what matters: a sense of quality, style and appreciation that make life remarkable. I want it all. So I came home to make it myself. Colette Jaffe is me and this is my collection. A good life is a colorful one. Especially in bed.
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