March 22nd, 2014

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Grey

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I grew up with 3 younger brothers. I think this exposed all 4 of us to more than we ever would have found alone and subsequently enhanced the variety of tricks we were able to cram up our individual sleeves. So much of what we knew (or even liked) growing up was informed by what another sibling was doing. Plus, because of our age range, we cover multiple decades of childhood and therefore have an even greater wealth of said tricks. For example, they had to sit through the original Beverly Hills, 90210 before they could even read, and I had to learn about both GoBots and Power Rangers.

Because there was only one TV when we were younger, our interests were shared by necessity and became so intertwined that it was hard to agree on original ownership. For the sake of compromise, I will give Karate Kid to Danny, but I will claim Grease 2 as my own. And we will forever fight over Mary Poppins. Everything we did somehow became shared. They now know about Sondheim; I now recount the epic Suns-Bulls finals of 1993 in excruciating detail.

In addition to sharing a knowledge base, we share behavioral traits, including but not limited to a demand for precision, comprehension, and the proverbial excellence. Simply put, if we do it, we DO it. We don’t do anything casually in my family. So, we didn’t just watch TV; we had it down to a calculated science. I was a living DVR before TiVo existed. I was making “box sets,” if you will, before that term even existed. And in those days, given that everything had to be manually recorded on VHS, making tapes of your favorite shows was both an art AND a science. You had to be positioned in front of the “record” button exactly on the hour and had literally no time to press “stop,” eject the VHS tape on which you were recording, say, Blossomchange the channel from NBC to FOX, insert your Models, Inc. tape, and press “record” for that series. It required dedication and forethought. [To be fair, I was always better on the night shift. I would stay up late on Saturday nights to press "record" for Saturday Night Live, but my mom would wake up early on Saturday mornings to press "record" for Smurfs. It was, like so much of what we do, a family affair.]

We are all grown-ups now. We all have our own TVs, and all of our DVRs stress us out by flirting with capacity. The living rooms have quadrupled in quantity, but somehow the lifestyles within them share common themes. Without planning or consulting, we’ll often find ourselves in a shared moment. So, it stands to reason that while I have become so careful and nurturing with my new rose garden (courtesy of the always fancy, always favorite Home Depot), Danny has become a Violet.

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Danny has been working for Violet Grey (www.violetgrey.com). They are beauty insiders who embrace both the whimsy and sophistication of the industry. They just launched their e-commerce site (go to Shop the Shelves, use access code Violet14, & don’t look back), and they’ll soon be opening a store in L.A. with windows that I covet:

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Plus, they’ve been goop’d:

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And we all know that only the best get goop’d. {Yes, that’s me, bragging about being goop’d. A long time ago.}

Now, bunnies, as you may recall, I’m no stranger to the beauty world. For better or worse, the evidence speaks for itself, as I cannot seem to stop merchandising, even in my own bathroom:

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You see, that same little girl who stood in front of the television with a stack of VHS tapes is now the little girl researching and reveling in the nuances of pigmentation and shine. And now I can fill my faux file cabinet guilt-free with violetgrey.com, because I’m doing it all to support my brother!

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So, it seems that once again Danny and I are sharing a moment, both floral and functional. I’ve always appreciated the benefits my brothers bring to my life, but I never imagined that Danny would one day be bringing me the inside beauty scoop. As our paths have twisted and crossed, though, I’ve learned that there’s no need to question the seed. Just watch it grow, and play in the flowers.

I’ve never promised a rose garden, but I have promised the same devotion to my current roses that I promise to names like Nars or to my once and future bunnies. And I know that Danny understands this devotion both in theory and in practice. We are both, after all, so violet.

Posted at 7:21 pm by rachel in: Post-Wonderland, The Family

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December 14th, 2011

Cracking Down

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There have been a lot of questions lately about what’s next for us, and all of this pressure has Frank up in arms (pun….intended). For 5 holiday seasons, Frank has served as the 2L gift advisor and security detail, but it appears that he will soon be out of a job. He is in the process of updating his resume to include swordsmanship and uniform bedazzling. We know it’s rough out there, and we fear Frank would get trampled in an Occupy Wall Street situation, so if anyone hears of any opportunities, do let us know. You can reach Frank with job offers at info@twoelle.com. And, for that matter, you can offer Rachel, Ricky, Becca, and Sara jobs at that address, too!

Posted at 12:04 pm by rachel in: Closing the Store, The Family

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December 11th, 2011

Sunday B & B

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As we prepare to Bid our aBode farewell, we’re going Back to Basics. With But 2 weeks left Before goodBye, I’m engaging in my own celebration of my favorite things. This Sunday celebrates my favorites in a classic B&B: Books & Becca.

As the road Begins to Bend, we Better appreciate our Basics. For me, Books have always functioned as something of a Ballet Barre. They Bring me Back. They remind me who I am. And they show me the way to move on. Becca, a Balanced combination of Beauty and Brains, has Begun to function like a Ballet Barre herself. Although she entered my life as a Barista, her powers of inspiration and compassion far exceed anything a soy latte could conjure. This journey would Be significantly less meaningful and less personally successful without this B standing By my side, encouraging me to Be Brave and Be Better. In short, Becca has Become a Basic.

So, this Sunday, join us in celebrating the Basics that make Two Elle what it is. You can Buy the Books, but noBody’s taking my lil B!

Posted at 11:38 am by rachel in: Closing the Store, The Family

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December 1st, 2011

What’s Yours?

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With one month left, it seems only appropriate that we begin a little two elle retrospective, but this time we want your help.

Our Good & Fair t-shirts (still great holiday gifts and now on sale. just sayin.) beg us to remember that there’s a story behind every wardrobe, and we couldn’t agree more. My story plucked me out of Manhattan and set me here in Nashville. It plunged me down a rabbit hole and began the journey that you’ve all been a part of with me. This journey, while thrilling, took me away from the worlds I knew and asked me to create a new one. I’ve missed a best friend’s wedding, and I’ll miss another in a week. I’ve sold clothes for 10 out of my last 15 Christmas Eves, and I’ll do so one last time for you. With the sacrifices, however, came great joys. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to dream. I’ve turned a white box into a wonderland. I’ve found a staff that makes it so that I can’t take a day off, because I don’t want to miss a day of their company. And, of course, I’ve created the bunny and Nashville shirts that are now filling my closet.

So, here’s what, bunny lovers: SHOW US YOUR TWO ELLE! Send pics of your faves to info@twoelle.com with perhaps a couple choice words, and your story will be added to ours.

You’ve been listening to ours for all these years, but now we want to share yours! TELL US YOUR STORY!

Posted at 11:21 am by rachel in: Bunny Love, Clothes, The Family

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November 24th, 2011

Home for the Holidays

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Friends,

When I set out on this journey, I knew that I was building something, but I’ve come to learn that instead of building a clothing store per se, I was building a home. What I’ve realized since announcing the closing is that this wasn’t just a home for me. Today, I give thanks that I was able to build a home for you, too. You’ve all helped me realize in this past week that far greater than the loss of a clothing store is the loss of a place we came to call home.

The staff that stands with me today came from various places (ok, 1 from American Idol and 2 from Frothy Monkey), but I’m so thankful that this is the home they settled in. Sometimes you hire people because you need to fill a time slot or because they’re “right” for the job. And then sometimes you hire them because they beg you while they make you coffee or because they were on one of America’s most-watched television competitions. I can promise you, though, that I never anticipated that those 2 exceptions to the hiring rule would be the ones holding my hands at the finish line.

Ricky & I have spent the past week doing what we do best: blasting showtunes and prepping the store for the final sale that will launch tomorrow. There has been heavy lifting, heavy red-lining, a couple of tears, and a lot of laughs. That is the home that I’m thankful for, that is the home that I will be sad to leave behind, and that is the moment that I will take home with me. However, if life were only moments, then we’d never know we had one. Thank you for our moment, and let’s make it last until the end.

xoxo

Posted at 5:09 pm by rachel in: The Family

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