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At Home in Santa Barbara

Monday, June 21, 2021
Karen and Lonnie looking out over the Pacific Ocean.

There is no place I love more than Santa Barbara. In 1997, we built a family home with the hope that our sons, their future families, and the rest of our family would want to gather and create memories together. We've been incredibly blessed to see our dream come true. We've hosted three family weddings at our home and can not be more excited to host our fourth in a few short months. We've had multiple generations share cherished moments as they've played in our pool together, listened to Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison over sunset dinners, and looked up at the stars at night. 


Reflecting on how much I love this place drove my passion to start a home collection. There's no where else I consider more special - it's always been the place we feel the most comfortable in our skin, where we can be the truest version of ourselves.

Karen and Lonnie looking out at the Pacific Ocean.

A few questions with Karen at her home in Montecito, California...

Santa Barbara isn't a very big town. Were you born there?

No; I was I actually born in Ohio. When I was 9 years old, my family moved from Barberton (a small town near the outside of Akron) to California. My parents packed our car and decided to move West without any particular destination in mind. My dad finally pulled into a gas station in Santa Barbara, and after finding out there was work available in town, that's where we decided to stay. 

What do you love about this house?

I grew up in Santa Barbara so I've always wanted a home here. From the moment we found this location, I fell in love. It's right on a cliff, and the best part is that right when you walk through the front door you see these windows that look out on the Pacific Ocean. We drive up from Los Angeles on Friday nights after work, and there is nothing that makes me feel calmer. Seeing the sunset through those windows. It's so beautiful. So peaceful. We also have olive trees lining our drive way. Some are over 75 years old. I've always loved seeing them as we arrive, but after my son's wedding they've taken on even more meaning to me.

A family wedding wedding celebration.

Speaking about your son's wedding, what was it like to celebrate at home? 

It was incredible. It's hard to put into words the feelings you have when your child expresses their love for someone at a place that is so personal to you. It's hard to believe Michael got married five years ago; I still remember going to their first tastings, their rehearsal dinner, and our mom-son dance on his wedding night. I also remember how hard it was to watch the rental companies take everything away once it ended. It took me a couple months to be able not to cry when I heard 'Silver Springs' (my son's wedding song) play on the radio. Thankfully, we've had a couple other loved ones get married at home since to get my mind off of it.

How do you feel Santa Barbara influences your style?

It's everything to me. I try to make clothes that give women a chance to express their personal style - in my mind, she wants to be luxurious, but not have to think about how to style something. It should be simple. Santa Barbara is like that. You can dress up for dinner, but if you decided to wear the same outfit that you wore earlier at the beach, add a few jewels and a higher heel, you would not need to change. 

Santa Barbara palm trees.

How do you feel Santa Barbara influences your style?

It's everything to me. I try to make clothes that give women a chance to express their personal style - in my mind, she wants to be luxurious, but not have to think about how to style something. It should be simple. Santa Barbara is like that. You can dress up for dinner, but if you decided to wear the same outfit that you wore earlier at the beach, add a few jewels and a higher heel, you would not need to change. 

We're at the start of a new year and a whole new season. When you begin a new season, how do you start?

It's always different. I almost always start with fabric. My team collects fabrics from all over and then we decide what inspires us most. After that, I start sketching - some of my drawings make it to our final collection, others fall to the wayside. I try on every garment before we finalize anything - if I'm not comfortable in it, there's no way it makes it to our collection.

What's your most memorable moment at your home in Santa Barbara? 

There are many, but one of my favorites is dancing with my son, Michael, on his wedding day to our mom-son dance song "Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross and the Supremes. That moment is frozen in time for me and will always be.

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