reflections from the middle age zone

today I turned 45. um, what happened? where did time go and why is it going faster and faster? I stand firmly in a middle age zone. I'm no longer flirting with middle age; I am middle age. (My mother is 87, so yes, foregoing an accident I expect to see 90.) I purposefully got up earlier this morning so I could have a few minutes with my 45 year old self before the rest of the house wakes up. I wanted to give some thought to what I've learned.

In no particular order:

:: a little humor goes a long way
:: a smile can make a big difference
:: it's not what you say but how you say it
:: when you're mad take deep breaths before you respond
:: give the other person the benefit of the doubt
:: nice and kind mean more and more in this world
:: put the phone/ipad aside while in a conversation with a person who is physically present
:: just because the phone rings or beeps does not mean you have to deal with it immediately
:: unless someone is dying it's not worth panicking
:: children in third world countries survive ____________, mine will, too.
:: success is a combination of hard work and confidence
:: whatever it is, don't force it
:: time takes care of almost everything

I'm curious what you would add to this list. happy september, happy fall.





We're twenty and ready for a facelift!

Reconfigure and refresh. Sounds like we're going to a spa. Decidedly not. We're working on making the experience at Scarpa even better from now until the end of July. In fact if you've been in recently you've already heard the nail gun firing in the background. Some serious demolition will be occurring in the upcoming days and as such we'll be closed Sunday, June 29th through Tuesday, July 1st. We may need to open late on the 2nd. We're excited for the changes and hope you'll love them, too. Heck we may even throw ourselves a little party to celebrate when the dust has settled. Stay tuned.

meet a customer: kelly witt of kelly witt designs

kelly shows us her gorgeous studio 

richmond-born interior designer kelly witt has called charlottesville her home since 1999, when she enrolled in uva’s architecture school, and stayed in the ville after graduating. kelly’s first job was at elena’s, an interior design firm, where she designed curtains. she stayed at elena’s until 2010, when she bought the entire sample library.

now, kelly witt design is located in the same building that was formerly elena’s, a gorgeous space on second street se. most of kelly’s clients enlist her help with residential projects, and for the most part, are local, though she is currently working on projects in florida, minnesota, and maryland. charlottesville’s tastes are fairly “traditional,” as kelly says, though she tends to favor fun elements. in her personal style, kelly leans to “tailored, simple designs”—her everyday look involves jeans (kelly’s days include both meetings and scaling ladders, in addition to taking care of 8-month-old son henry) and accessories of the scarpa variety.

 her first scarpa purchase was a pair of amalfi shoes with 3 or 4 inch heels, but kelly jokes that she’s “more sensible now.” most recently, she installed new curtains in the shop. you should come by and check them out! they’re gauzy and beautiful. 

blog post #2

sometimes insomnia is a good thing.

I had insomnia in Paris on a night when the alarm was going to rock my world at 4:30 a.m. for a 5:00 cab ride to the airport. rather than seeing the inside of my eyelids I was seeing all of the potential problems with the upcoming season in the store. do you do that? do you worry when you can't sleep? I do. I think about all of the little, nigley things (yes, that’s a made up word) that I have overlooked, not made time to iron out. small problems that only exist in my head and yet are maddening during a frustrating toss and turn in the sheets.

so here's one 'problem' that I had. I had purchased for the store the plainest and sturdiest canvas pool totes that I could find. what's the problem? ah jeez, they're TOO plain. I have a love for simple, functional, minimal items that you, beloved reader and customer, don't always share. I had a concern before these totes even showed up, that they weren't going to sell.

toss/turn. toss/turn. lightbulb. paint the totes. combine two of the dearest things in my life and share them with you: art(!) and a simple, functional item. find artists who would want to paint or print on a canvas that's not on a frame AND have the money go towards a charity that they love. create something interesting, beautiful and one of a kind. give customers a chance to take home a work of art by a local artist who would routinely create something valued at a lot more. have a local charity receive some funds to put to good use.

TOTE ART. more to come.

blog post #1

I own a shoe store because I love shoes. it's almost that simple. I used my first hard-earned babysitting money at age 13 to buy a pair of grey leather esprit driving loafers. I had to have them and I knew my mother would not have any interest in spending $52 (plus sales tax) on this particular pair of shoes for the upcoming school year. they had a simple bow tied on the top, those super cool and new-to-me bumps on the bottom (did it matter that I was too young to drive a car?). they were the perfect shade of grey for the limited array of preppy clothes in my closet in 1983. when I looked down at them they made me happy. I could justify the purchase in every way conceivable. I knew that with them I was going to have the best 8th grade year possible.

fast forward twenty eight years and I still use that criteria when I buy shoes for my store. when I look down do they make me happy? but now I also wonder, will they make you happy? will they go with a lot of what's in your closet? will they work with your lifestyle? will they help you in whatever your quest is for the day and night (faster mommy, smarter worker bee, stronger errand runner, sexier dinner date). when you slip them on will you feel more capable and confident in starting your day? these are the things I think about when I buy shoes now. what do you think about?

these are the shoes that make me happy these days. If you’ve seen me recently then you already know that since I wear them. every. single. day.