Nicole Paloma Back in Grayton Beach at Monet Monet
September 2, 2015 by Sarah Robertson
Local clothing designer Nicole Paloma is back in Grayton Beach in a big way. She just opened her latest fashion venture on the treasured grounds of Monet Monet on Scenic 30A. With a grand opening Labor Day weekend, Nicole and her crew have been a blur getting ready and the place is buzzing.
The new business is #love_sewn + Nicole Paloma, and it embodies much of what she has learned from her business experience and from her path to recovery from addiction, with the goal of inspiring and empowering others with similar struggles.
The building and gardens of Monet Monet are modeled after Claude Monet's home and gardens in Giverny, France. Monet immortalized his beautiful property in many paintings, with it's Japanese footbridge over water lily pond.
The original design and construction was a labor of love for Grayton Beach landscape architect Jonathan Quinn (1958-2008) back in 1994. Each business owner who has occupied the property since Jonathan's passing has honored his love of the property by maintaining the gardens. The building and gardens are a Grayton Beach attraction and Nicole also welcomes visitors to come and enjoy the gardens anytime.
Nicole says she feels lucky to occupy the property, and is eager to share details of her new venture. She's not only creating fabulous new fashions, she's teaching other women how to do it.
When she closed her previous store at the Shops of Grayton last December, Nicole wasn’t sure what would come next. Within a couple of months she slowly began sewing again – starting small while dreaming of ways to help others in recovery through her artistic medium of choice, fabric.
She revealed her ideas to her friend Beverly Burt and one by one things began to fall into place. Together with Beverly and Beverly’s husband Pace, Nicole’s boyfriend William Jobe, and her mom Marscha Cavaliere, #love_sewn + Nicole Paloma started taking shape. [Beverly is leading open yoga and meditation practice most mornings at Monet Monet in the gardens.]
The two nonprofit organizations benefiting from this new partnership are Graceway Recovery Center for Women and Mission Change - both located in Albany, Georgia. All profits from the clothing sold help fund these two programs, which help people faced with substance addiction and homelessness.
Savannah, a #love_sewn employee, said this venture has “…given me a new sense of hope and purpose. I wake up every morning excited to go to work."
The future goal is for other designers to join #love_sewn and this small operation can grow to include retailers in other cities, employing even more women and providing more long-term positions.
“In my first store I taught sewing. So I knew I could do it and I also knew I loved it,” Nicole explained.
She teaches systematically, first with simple tasks like sewing t-shirts requiring only four seams and cloth napkins. Before long the women have mastered more complicated pieces.
In addition to employment, the women are gaining responsibility by mentoring new entrants to the program. Clothes are a basic necessity and by sewing clothing these women are given a real sense of accomplishment and purpose. They also discover how to keep small frustrations and challenges from derailing them.
Never short on ideas, Nicole envisions the beautiful Monet Monet property perfect for attracting creative energy. She hopes people will feel welcome to simply visit the garden and spend time there. Monday through Thursdays at 8:30 A.M. yoga classes are offered. Soon, will come art openings showcasing local artists, and drawing and painting classes.
Be sure to check out their Grand Opening Labor Day weekend. Along with her designs and an amazing collection of jewelry and home goods for sale, yoga will be offered and a book signing with Prudence Bruns is planned.
As Nicole shares her story and helps others, she is certainly in her element. Finding “the perfection in imperfection” is one of her favorite phrases and through this new company she is doing just that.
#love_sewn + Nicole Paloma is located at 100 Scenic 30A in Grayton Beach. Look for Nicole Paloma designs at this year’s South Walton Fashion Week also. She’s been busy opening the new store and joked that September will be a flurry - designing a “dress a day” to get ready for the runway.