Due Date

No matter your life's calling, life is full of lists, to-do’s, deadlines, and…well, more lists to make that next deadline seem doable.  And if you’re a parent, add in the phrase “due date” and all of the aforementioned become a fire drill.  Everything must get done before the DUE DATE.

We were so excited to learn in the fall of 2015 that our party of three was going to become four.  Business was happening fast and furious, and we were heading into a holiday season that was busier than we ever imagined possible.  Producing hundreds of bags during the first trimester was challenging, but invigorating. The new life force was motivating, and was also helping me coordinate the “master plan” to keep momentum flowing through maternity leave.  The master plan that included a colorful new line of bags, a nursery equally as vibrant...but not 5 weeks in the hospital on bedrest.  Until 24 weeks into the pregnancy, my doctor discovered reasons to be concerned that the baby would arrive much earlier than ideal, and a routine check up landed me in a hospital bed for over a month. Tough news for a mama who runs a busy business, has a six year old, and most importantly wanted more than anything to expand our family with a healthy baby.  My husband and parents came swiftly to the rescue to hold down the house, and ideas of the master plan began to crack at the seams.

a love like no other photo by: Genya O'Neall

a love like no other

photo by: Genya O'Neall

In an effort to keep my hands busy and mind quiet, my hospital room quickly filled with rope and yarn I ordered from my hospital room (thank you, Amazon prime).  All of the colorful sketches of my spring/summer line were being woven into crocheted bags, and additions to the baby nursery.  My son visited daily.  He helped me sew things for the baby, and we made pom poms together on my hospital bed while watching TV.  With his visits, and weekend sleepovers, five weeks passed quicker than expected.  My five weeks went from worried and sad to let go of my creative goals, to grateful for every day the baby had to grow and become stronger.

The colorful story of the latest collection evolved through those weeks of creation.  Creation of bags, a baby’s room, and one really amazing baby.  Inspired by the days I spent crocheting an array of fibers on my hospital bed, the soft cotton rope brings new texture alongside the leather.  The colorful rainbows a reflection of the joy that is on the other side of the patience to weather dark clouds that were beyond my control.  All of the bags made useful for any stylish mama with kids in tow.

On April 12, I happily returned home to my family, springtime, and the best night of sleep ever in my own bed.  Bedrest was carried out on my sofa, and a chaise on our back deck. While the latest collection came a year later than originally planned, everything arrived right on time.  Including William Callan born on June 7, his due date. 

A mobile of pom poms handmade by a loving brother and me.

A mobile of pom poms handmade by a loving brother and me.

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

-John Lennon

VFS_DueDate_Nursery_04.jpg

Girl Gang

When you're surrounded by amazingly talented women, who also happen to be great friends, you can pull off a gorgeous photoshoot in about a week's time of planning and late night sample making.  The results of this lookbook shoot make me more grateful than ever to know such supportive and thoughtful individuals. They are passionate about what they do, and are willing to go the extra mile to make my vision a reality.  

I have known Claudia Bost (my photographer) and Stephanie Duncan (my stylist, and the owner of Her New Tribe) for just a little over one year.  But when you find instant friends, with similar intentions in life, timetables are blurred.  It's as if I've known them for years, and there's never enough time when we get together to catch up.  Sharing creativity, ideas, frustrations, and dreams with creative and entrepreneurial women provides inspiration, and keeps me going when I need the extra shove.  These connections have become the backbone of my business.  

On top of all that, they take the hard work away from me to make Very Fine South shine.  I am consistently amazed by Claudia's eye and talent, and nonstop effort to pull all the pieces together for the shoot.  Her organization and dedication don't quit.  And the always fresh style that Stephanie brings marries my brand with a unique aesthetic that is all her own.  I only need to share a couple of words around my vision, and she shows up with her bag of tricks to tell the story with grace, all in the middle of moving her family across the country.  I'm one lucky girl. It's the one day of my job I get to just sit and watch the magic happen....and hold a reflector here and there. 

This most recent shoot I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with makeup and hair artist, Erin Tierney.  The looks she created were perfection.  And we couldn't have done any of it without our beauty, Alixe Lyon.  Both NYC bound talent - I'll say "I knew them when".

And last, but definitely not least, my awesome sister.  Who let us use her newly renovated house for the shoot location. 

Thank you times a million to these extraordinary women.

So what about the bags?

I'm proud to showcase the evolution of the Enso line.  A couple of new designs were added over the course of the last few months - the Mini Bucket and the Mini Cutout Tote.  Major versatility packed into mini bags.  We've kept our passion for simplicity, and added a little sparkle for the festive season.  

We genuinely appreciate you stopping by - our loyal and kind customers are invaluable to us.  We are continually humbled by your overwhelming support!

Alixe & Claudia

Alixe & Claudia

Steph's mobile closet

Steph's mobile closet

Claudia, Alixe & Erin

Claudia, Alixe & Erin

go team!

go team!

the ENSO collection


Form follows function.

Design is for living.


70 years ago these design tenets signaled a new age and a fresh start. Designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles & Ray Eames, Le Corbusier, and Raymond Loewy designed with the idea they were making a better world, bringing greater simplicity and pleasure to the lives of ordinary people.  20 years ago they inspired me as a student, studying the origins of industrial design as a freshman at Georgia Tech.

20 years later, the idea that "less is more" remains a constant thread through my work.  An elegant shape marries practical functionality to create good design.  The ENSO Collection was inspired by my passion for designing beautifully functional things. Bags that fulfill practical & everyday needs, in an incredibly stylish way. Free of hardware and excessive detail, the designs are organic and simple.   

What's in a name?

Enso is a Japanese word meaning circle.  In Zen Buddhism the enso symbolizes strength and elegance.  Each piece in the ENSO collection incorporates a full circle in its design.  Known for thoughtful simplicity in their design style, Japanese tradition was a natural inspiration of form.

 

"Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law"  - Louis Sullivan