….DRINKS With Libby, and, and, and….

withit logo squareWITHIT,  is first and foremost a networking group for, just as it’s acronym says, Women in The Home Furnishings Industry Today…but what you possibly don’t count on, is the Gift of hard and fast friendship that you receive from so many of the women that you meet as you frequent the events planned by the organization. It’s like a pool of people have been handpicked for you and all you need to do is show up and fuel the connection that has been ignited by shared membership in this group. How cool is that?

I first joined WITHIT in 2008, and by the nature of the person who introduced me to the organization, the ever so lovely Kathleen Holterman, I knew I would be in good company. However, it would take me until 2010 to FINALLY NYTourmanage it into my schedule  to attend their annual NYC  Inside Design Tour, blog on most recent tour here….of which I now plan as part of my April each year, followed by attending  the Leadership Conference that same year, held each August…ditto there. NOT to be missed.

What I didn’t anticipate this year was a 2nd Design Tour to follow in June. How lucky could I be???  Yes, it would be my good fortune to be included on what I have quipped as the Long Island Inside Design Tour as organized by Deborah Klein, of DK Inside Designer…who I met on that very first NYC tour, and have been friends with since.

The ever generous Deborah pulled together a fabulous weekend that was delicious on so many fronts that I hardly IMG_0103know where to start.  She seamlessly brought together a group of people that knew each other, Betty Lyn Eller, Alicia Connolly, herself and yours truly (yes, all WITHIT members/who spent the weekend together….TOO much to write about/include here)  and merged us on Sunday with NY based Designers that she does business with ,each that just knew Deborah, and toured us around Sag Harbor, orchestrated lunch in the park, a visit to English Country Antiques and then to the inaugural Hampton Holiday House before heading to the home of Libby Langdon for cocktails, photo opps and more time to mingle/get to know each other.

IMG_0208She used the Holiday House as the anchor,  to gather us all together, and created a day of it.

And before going any further, if you haven’t had a chance to visit the Holiday House, you still have until Monday July 21st to do so….it is worth it and it supports the cause of Breast Cancer Research.

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Everyone tours these homes with their unique perspective, but the takeaway is the same…of being visually  and creatively delighted and inspired.

Personally for me it was my delight to see two of my Antiques by Zaar customers presenting rooms at the house. Thom design house group picFilicia, AbyZaar customer since 2002 and WITHIT Supporter,  happen chanced by for a visit and took the time for a photo with our group, and Design House of the Hamptons, customer since 2011,which positioned an Antiques by Zaar Chinese Greek Key Console  in their “ladies room”.

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And of course a pleasure to support the work of fellow WITHIT member Libby Langdon, who took on the project of the hallway to showcase her new line of peelable wall paper, skills as a photographer and her carpet line.

After said inspiring visit it was off to Libby’s Long Island home for a cozy evening of cocktails. As we took over her living room, the energy and fervor was audible as the air filled with the dance of words as women that had only met that day became friends.

We were a group of 11, 4 of which held membership in WITHIT…. one of us being the 2013 president. Somewhere in the course of the chatter a natural opening came for Betty Lynn to espouse the benefits of joining WITHIT and participating in our events. IE, you want more of “this” then come on along and you will NOT be disappointed….and she had 4 in the peanut gallery supporting this, including our 2 hosts.

End of the evening we all left giving each other hugs and saying how great it was to get to know you/promises to stay connected…and with social media, an easy promise to keep.

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Yes, we all had in common the bond that we work in some part of the Home Furnishings Industry. A more salient bond is  that most of us also share the common denominator of working solo…be it in home office or studio, and although dealing with people and product daily, we work in a bubble. On a day like this the bubble was broken for many of us as we joined with others that experience a similar working environment.

007Deborah, you did good. Thank you so much for joining us all together and orchestrating all…taking us out of our respective bubbles and leading us through an inspirational day…and for some of us weekend.

And Libby, thank you for your kind hospitality in opening up your home to us.

I for one left the weekend feeling like I was on a cloud, with immense gratitude  for how my world continues to be enriched by the gift of friendship from my growing bevy of “gal pals”…and not to forget all the Design Inspiration.

For pix of the Design Tour Day, click here, and for pix of the entire weekend click here.

Ruth

P.S. My walk on a cloud continued for yet another two days as I extended my time in Long Island to visit Antiques by IMG_0276Zaar customer, since 2002,  come friend, Sylvia Muller, proprietor of the Mill House Inn in East Hampton….THE place to stay in the Hamptons…and, per new AbyZaar customer/old friend of the Mullers suggested, it  could also be touted as the Antiques by Zaar Showroom of the Hamptons for all the AbyZaar merchandise that has found a home at Mill House.

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