If it is conceivably possible, I was born loving clothes. 

My grandfather and father manufactured women’s clothing. That makes me third generation. I remember sitting at the kitchen table as a kid, watching fashion designers sketching while visiting my dad. I was fascinated, and it was something I could share with my dad

I worked for my dad in college. Then I owned and operated two stores until 2007. I decided to sell my business and was free to think about what to do next.

I had been a devotee of yoga and had a deep concern for the environment. I spent nine months trying to figure how to combine my interest in fashion with the “go green movement.” I educated myself on what “sustainability” could mean in fashion. 

I opened PureThread—with an emphasis on carefully resourced clothing and extensive personal service. Before I order any clothing, I ask about the materials—where and how they are created and how making and transporting them affects the health of the planet. I look at fair trade principles, the packaging, the washing requirements and the durability of the clothing. I want PureThread to be to clothes what organics are to food.

I have two wonderful adult sons. I had success in my business life. I thought I was happy in my personal life, too. But like for so many women—let’s say that unexpected challenges bombarded me. I admit I cried—a lot.

I was in my fifties and understood that I might always be single. But I had to pull myself together. My sons still needed a mother who would “stand tall.” Figuring out who I was took time. First, it was a burden to do things by myself. Then it became a pleasure. I learned to be alone.

Eventually, I moved to a small village in the Hamptons. Most people think of the Hamptons as a summer destination. In fact, they are. But I sensed that was where I belonged. 

I have continued with PureThread and have started teaching Pilates and yoga. I envision creating a gathering place where women take care of themselves. As soon as I made myself happy, I met a partner. He loves my independence, as I love his. I know nothing would have happened if I had not taken charge of my own life.

This is an excerpt from a comprehensive interview.