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Friday, January 15, 2010

Feature: Meet the Queen of Green!

Look at what we've stumbled across!  
And here we thought Heather was the "Queen of Post-Its"! 
Meet the "Queen of Green"

By Heidy Kellison | Special to The Enterprise 

Is it just me, or have you noticed that old Bing Crosby classic is suddenly out of tune?

It's true: White Christmases are out and green Christmases are in. Just ask a group of volunteers who've brainstormed innovative holiday giving ideas with the Davis Chamber of Commerce. (Look for the world in a bow at And for those who suffer from Shopper's Fright, consider purchasing a downtown Davis green shopping gift card, which can be used at more than 200 community retailers and restaurants.

As the Queen of Shopping, such ideas inspire me. It is now my duty to acknowledge another royal, The Queen of Green - as if she needs an introduction.

Heather Caswell, owner of The Wardrobe at 206 E St., recites the virtues of green shopping like a well-loved Christmas play, except she's not acting. For her it's conscientious trendsetting - sacred commerce. A recent visit reveals why.

Let's start with 2009's gift of the year: Silk scarves by local designer Susan Eastman. These organically dyed beauties go anywhere, dressed up, or dressed Davis. The only thing more appealing than their luxurious warmth (a taunting thought as I watch the temperature dip below 30, once again) is how easily they machine wash and dry.

Looking for something with extra sparkle? Try anything by Sofia and Chloe. Conventional instinct would save these California jewels for special occasions, but absent federal relief, I've given up on fancy events and have taken to wearing them with jeans, invigorating old looks. I do the same with local designer Nancy Shapiro's silver selections, and my latest love, M. Tracy's show-stopping crystals, also from Davis. A touch of glam does wonders for seasonal affective disorder. Now that's a stimulus package I hope you'll find under your tree!

The Wardrobe also carries familiar clothing lines like Eileen Fisher, concentrating on organic, sustainable and fair trade pieces. And this spring, look for great travel wear in bamboo.

Clothing is organized by color, which can be disquieting to some, but it's a practice I endorse for its surprisingly green outcome. A friend once arranged my closet in this manner, and uncovered my hidden fetish: white pants. I could reason a lady really does need five pairs of white pants, but we all know this argument ends with a man and a clipped discussion about retirement plans. In all honesty, I believed I had only one pair because the others were all shoved into little forgotten snowballs. Now that my closet is color-coded, I've managed to stifle my white-pants fixation. Conscientious shopping - Heather (and the guys) would be proud.

It's easy to feel guilty when tempted by fashion, especially now, but life can and should be full of beauty, just as much as it will be challenged by hardship. 'Fashion is about fantasy,' Heather says. And she should know. She's been engaging the imagination of Davis for 22 years ... nearly as long as many kids have been bribing Santa with cookies. (We calculate business longevity like dog-years here.)

There's no doubt about it, our community has enormous, green talent. And why not? If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere because, as we all know, New York has nothing on Davis.

I guess that means Frank Sinatra can join Bing in the compost pile.

Thanks for the feature, Heidy!

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