|The sidesaddle skirt|
I've been thinking about the whole notion of "living authentically" lately. But not in a "to-thine-own-self-be-true" kind of way, which would be the wise direction. No. More of a hat-goes-with-the-shoes-which-goes-with-the-house-which-goes-with-the-sidesaddle kind of way.
After 20 years of living in Florida, I finally looked around and decided that, as a matter of fact, I don't give a shit about palm trees. I don't look good in Lilly Pulitzer. Or Patagonia. Or pants with little golf clubs embroidered all over them. I get seasick. I freckle. I just don't dig sand.
So I bought this farm in Kentucky last year.
And immediately started to think about style, of course.
Because of course there is "People of Wal-Mart," which, while jaw-droppingly hilarious, makes you think of that time you were fixing a toilet and you were just going to run down to Wal-Mart for this little, stupid but necessary emergency part, (and that, of course, was exactly the moment that your ex-boyfriend showed up at Wal-Mart and there you are: in a pair of fat-jeans cut-offs and wet toilet paper hanging onto the back of your rubber boots). He was also embarrassed to be caught at Wal-Mart, embarrassed that his girlfriend saw the kinds of girls he used to date, and there was that silent agreement to forget the whole thing and pretend you were never there, but still. You can laugh all you want at "People of Walmart," but somewhere deep, deep down, know that you could be one of them.
You know you could.
So, I started the retail business (online and shows)--Hippik--with all the very groovy, horsey things that I love: custom-made sidesaddle habits with corsets hats, gloves, whips, boots, vintagey clothing and things, art, antiques, products for horse and rider. People have been saying it's Steampunk, but there's not much steam. Or time machines. Or underground cities. I was never much of a Jules Verne fan. It's more of an "Ag-punk" look: horses and carriages and falcons and peculiar, rare breeds of animals--more Dr. Doolittle than Phileas Fogg.
But it's hard to wear a corset in Florida.
And I think I could very well be the eccentric lady who drives a horse and carriage to her strange little shop in Shelbyville, Kentucky.