What does "having it all" mean to you? I think it’s all about feeding the different parts of myself, and having (as much as possible) it to be perfectly balanced. Which means that I like to do a little bit of everything every day; but there’s a luxury to that and I don’t take that for granted. I always talk about that idea of wakudoki and that completely holds true. Having it all as both a designer and a mom means how do you get up excited every day and do the things that make your heart beat. So that means having a plan to do sometimes amazing (and sometimes very ordinary) things alone, with friends and with my kids and family, but then allowing for the possibility of surprises and those moments of wonder that take you elsewhere and ultimately inspire you.
Talk about what motivated you to start your salon dinner gatherings? I’ve always liked bringing people together, but not just casually. There’s something about creating a spark and the alchemy about intuition you have if two different friends or colleagues meet, that i find intriguing and rewarding. But what really motivated me is I had done an apprenticeship at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and I wanted to both practice some of the things I learned and I don’t think my husband really thought I could cook for 10+ guests. So really, that was the initial real impetus -- to show him I could. And then as soon as I start on something, I want to perfect it as much as possible. But not so much perfect it, as see where a basic idea of gathering can actually go. How do you make it special, give it your own signature? It’s just like making collections of clothes, only the ingredients are different.
What makes you complete? I think I simultaneously feel absolutely complete, because I really do get to do everything I want to do. But complete? Unfortunately or fortunately, I always want to be more do more. Remember Dead Poet’s Society? "That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” I have many; have contributed many verses, but still have many more to discover and write.
Portrait by Vivian Johnson