Last week, I met up with some buds in Cashiers, North Carolina who were taking part in the Cashiers Historical Society’s Designer Showhouse. If you’re not sure what that is, it basically means a bunch of interior designers each take over one space in a roomy home and flex their decorating skills… which makes for some major #inspo. My friend Mindy and I camped out at the gloriously serene Chattooga Club, where, after a quick drink at Bear Bar with our friend Elizabeth, we stayed in the Orchard Suite and had fireplace girl gab in hotel robes with a bottle (or two…) of wine. If you are ever there for breakfast, try the eggs Chattooga — they won me over with the addition of a little UGA caviar. (See? #Fancy.)
I want to pause for a second on the topic of our friend Elizabeth White Cook. She spearheaded the Showhouse this year in tandem with her teammate Sarah Slaughter and the internal Historical Society folks and, in my opinion, really put a waning event back on the map. It was all I saw on Instagram for a full week — I was having FOMO, and I was there! If you have a small business and you are in need of a kind, attentive publicist to advocate for your company to the media, I really could not suggest any better team than her own at Domino Media Group. I know Elizabeth as both a client and a friend. She just goes above and beyond in all that she does, and I think that deserves attention.
I confess that I’m not the world’s hugest interior design geek, so while I enjoyed taking in all the beautiful rooms, earmarking lots of ideas for my own place, my favorite part was playing art “eye spy” — the house was full of vivid paintings and pottery from Atlanta friends like Kerry Hays and Paige Follman. (Both are worth your insta-follow, by the way… I’ve noted a handful of other folks I like following at the bottom of the newsletter.)
I think I had the most fun inside the Vendor Village. If you’ve read anything I’ve written over the years or follow me on Instagram, you might know I love hunting for (and loving on) talented artisans, painters and makers — especially those making their living in the South. So it was a real joy to reacquaint myself with some familiar faces… like Mini Hay, who was a fourth-generation staffer at the beloved King Street jeweler Croghan’s in Charleston. Many moons ago, my friend Christie Doss was the in-house publicist for an online marketplace called Taigan. Taigan is a transcendent place. It’s positively teeming with incredible things you’d never find elsewhere. Back then, Mini’s line of “Goldbug" jewelry (a sweet riff on Charleston’s prevalent “Palmetto” bugs) was on the site, and Christie put them on my radar. Ashlyn Stallings ended up writing a beautiful story for The Love List that we published ages ago which you can still read. Mini is an accomplished designer who has since expanded her Goldbug line a great deal since we wrote it up, go take a look and see for yourself.
A little deeper into the Vendor Village, a handful of other things I thought you all might like to know about: we visited with our buddy Mallory Jones who, in collaboration with a handful of eclectic painters, makes really beautiful Italian silk scarves under the line Rinnovo Studio. We had a quick chat with the Sea Island Forgefolks (I seriously covet those kettles) and super-cool ceramicist Mollie Jenkins, and then got a peek at the colorful stock of skins at Blair’s Belts. On the way out, stacks of denim from Midheaven, made exclusively with tall women in mind, which thrilled me, because I can never find jeans long enough. (SOML.) I earmarked a pair for fall.
Before heading out of town, we made the mandatory stop at Cashiers Farmer’s Market. Mindy bought a brown bag of juicy late-season peaches, some of them the size of baseballs. Kinda jealous of that snag tbh. Among other things, I grabbed two enormous, perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes, which I cooked in a dead-simple Mark Bittman puttanesca and served over angel hair. Y’all. Those things were insanely good. I honestly don’t know why people bother with tomatoes any other time of year, you can’t fake a ripe, in-season Southern tomato grown from a wise seed. (Sorry Ina, in this case, if you cannot find, store-bought will not do.)
I’ve got two chicken carcasses in an Instant Pot that I need to tend to (stock-o-clock!), so I’ll leave it here. Talk next week?