Monday, September 15, 2008

A New Chapter...




I've long admired Charlotte Moss. Of course as this is a design blog, I've talked many times about her style, her panache, and the gorgeous environments that she creates. She is such a talented woman. But there's more to it. She has business savvy and a vigorous work ethic. Interestingly, for someone whose aesthetic is rooted in tradition, she is a thoroughly modern woman.

As some of you may know, Moss recently made the difficult decision to close The Townhouse later this year. For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit it, you know that it is like no other store around. A few days ago, I spoke with Moss about the Townhouse, and she admitted to me that it was a decision that was not made lightly. One of the issues that many of us face is the lack of time to pursue new opportunities, to fully invest our energy and creativity in our current endeavors, and to spend time with family- in Moss' words, not being able "to have time to smell the roses". And this was just the problem that Moss was facing. With her career as a designer, a writer, a philanthropist, and a retailer, life was becoming a bit crowded. As she told me, she wanted the time to enjoy the process of retail, but career demands were making it difficult.

So while the Townhouse may be closing, it's not really going away. In fact, it's going virtual. We'll still be able to buy Moss' china, linen, and those gorgeous accessories on her website... and now we won't have to travel to New York to do so! Moss also told me that she plans on adding more editorial to her site, recognizing the popularity of the online design community.

Oh, and about that Charlotte Moss work ethic? She's working on a few books as well as adding products to her fabric and china collections. And she's still designing and decorating. It sounds to me like she's doing exactly what makes her happy!

21 comments:

  1. Do you know exactly when it's closing? I'd like to try and get there before it does.

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  2. Pigtown- It looks like it will close at the end of October, but this might be fluid. You should definitely get up there to see it- it's gorgeous!

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  3. Jennifer -- you and Charlotte remind me of each other because of that business savvy combined with grace and exquisite taste. So I'm really glad you did this post.

    I think news of the closing was a shock since clearly so much creative effort had been invested. But Ms. Moss' explanation makes perfect sense and obviously she is with the times in terms of an online presence!

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  4. Courtney- Oh gosh, I wish that was the case! Charlotte has a great deal of savvy!

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  5. I was hoping there would be news about it going virtual. Glad I had the chance to visit this year.

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  6. Anonymous11:02 AM

    I think the closing has to do with the economy. Her husband was the VP of Merrill Lynch for over 10 years before he started his own company. Many shops here on the Upper East Side have closed as of late.

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  7. She has crafted such a lovely aesthetic there - I am so glad her distinct pieces will be available on-line.

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  8. Jennifer,

    I have long admired Charlotte Moss too. Glad to hear she is still designing and enjoying what she loves to do!
    I always get so much from your blog! THANK YOU!

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  9. Yes, I think we can all take comfort in the fact that the Townhouse will now be virtual.

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  10. It undoubtedly was a choice based on the economy.
    How long has The Townhouse been in existence? Surely not all that many years?
    It all begins to read like a cautionary tale.

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  11. Thanks Mimilee! So glad to meet another Moss fan :)

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  12. sad news - it is a beautiful shop - i loved her first shop that she closed years ago and was so excited when I visited the new shop last May - hard to have your hands and head in so many projects... probably a smart decision too, given the economy.

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  13. Marnie- I'm glad you got the chance to visit the Townhouse. I never had the opportunity to visit her first shop, but I've always heard it was divine.

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  14. I got to go in May when I was in New York for my birthday.

    We ooh'd and aah'd over everything. I did buy a signed copy of her latest book.

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  15. So coincidental that you wrote this. A few days ago I was reading somewhere about various projects of a certain designer (you know - the ones with the carpet and furniture lines and books on the go and TV shows and whatnot) and I was thinking "how do they do it all?" and "I wonder what has to give?" to achieve this all.

    Nice to see Moss has perspective enough to let something go, even her widely loved Townhouse.

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  16. How sad! I am headed to NYC so I am hoping I can catch it before it closes.

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  17. It's great to read posts from design blogs on the other side of the world - always reminds me [and makes me very envious] of how bereft we are here, in Western Australia, from the choice you have over there!!!
    Very informative, thank you!

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  18. Redgate- The upside to all of this is that we can purchase her wares on the internet. Although, I can't imagine what shipping would cost to Australia!

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  19. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Had loved her previous shop and thrilled with the new one tho only got there once. How nice it would be before the Townhouse is no more, if they would record it by photos in small book, or even a DVD. Not only was the decor of each room yummy, but the elements - woodwork, cabinets, roof garden,etc. were so special.It was all such a visual delight .
    I bought her DVD of the Kips Bay Decorators Showhouse and would love the same format with her comments on the Townhouse.

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  20. Anon- Excellent idea!! I would buy it too!

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  21. I hadn't heard about this until your post. The idea of it online makes sense. I"m glad I had a chance to visit her store this past spring.

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